Opposition parties on Wednesday tore into the Maharashtra government over its claims of assuaging the demands of the Maratha community, claiming the state government was only keen on “delaying the decision” on the issue. A delegation of Maratha Kranti Morcha called on Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday and submitted a list of demands. Fadnavis told the delegation about the steps his government was taking to address the concerns of the community.
The CM subsequently made a statement in both the Legislative Assembly as well as the Legislative Council on what transpired in the meeting and the assurances given to the delegation by the government. The Opposition, however, was not pleased with the claims of the government and said rather than charting a time-bound plan to address the demands of the Maratha community, the state was shying away from meeting the demands of reservation.
“We are not happy with the assurances given by the government. There is no time-bound plan on how it will address the demands for reservation. Amongst the many steps, the government has announced Rs 5 crore to build hostels in every district for the Maratha community. What kind of hostel can be constructed for Rs 5 crore?” NCP leader Sunil Tatkare said.
Tatkare also took the government to task over its claim that it had asked the State Backward Commission to build an effective case for Maratha reservation. “The Backward Commission has still not started the groundwork for laying a case for Maratha reservation. It does not have the access to the machinery to go to parts of the state to undertake the exercise,” Tatkare said.
Senior Congress leader Narayan Rane said the government’s intent on giving reservation to the Marathas would be deemed honest only if it announced a time-bound plan for meeting the demand. Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council Dhananjay Munde said the government had given the same assurances to a similar Maratha rally in Nagpur during the winter session of the Assembly in 2016.
“The memorandum that was given to the government today consisted same demands that were made in 2016. The government had then given assurances to meet those demands, however, till date not a single assurance has been met. Even the delegation that met the government is not satisfied with these assurances,” Munde said before leading a walkout from the House.
Leader of the House and Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil, however, countered Munde’s claim, saying the government had met all the demands within its ambit. “We have met all the demands which were within our ambit. Only issues which are with the court and pertain to the Constitution are pending,” Patil said.