Updated: June 27, 2021 8:21:33 am
Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad alias Ravan on Saturday warned of a state-wide agitation if reservation in promotions was not granted to those employed in government jobs through quota for Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST), Vimukt Jati and Nomadic Tribes (VJNT) and Special Backward Class (SBC) categories.
Speaking to media persons during his visit to Pune on the occasion of birth anniversary of noted social reformer Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, Azad said reservation in promotions was needed, adding his party would protest if the benefits were not extended to people. Azad said his party will gherao the house of chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and may even call for a Maharashtra Bandh.
A Maharashtra government resolution (GR) on May 7 had scrapped 33 per cent reservation in promotions for SC, ST, VJNT and SBC categories. The decision came two days after the Supreme Court quashed quota for the Maratha community.
“We had no hopes from the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP). But now there is a government in power, which claims to be following the ideals of Shahu Maharaj, the pioneer of reservation for deprived classes in India. However, this government is also working against the rights of the deprived classes. We demand the chief minister of the state to consider our demand for reservations in promotions seriously. Or else we will protest,” said Azad.
Petitions pertaining to GR scrapping reservations in promotions are being heard by the Bombay High Court. The government, through an affidavit in the HC, stated that the GR was in accordance with the law prevailing in the state and was subject to the outcome of further orders of the Supreme Court, which is hearing the special leave petitions (SLPs) filed after the Bombay HC, in 2017, struck down the 2004 GR that introduced reservation in promotion. The state said that since the apex court is already seized of the matters challenging the May 7 GR, the “HC should not interfere in petitions which are devoid of merit.”
Azad visits Ambil Odha, condemns anti-encroachment drive
During his day-long visit in Pune, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad also visited the Ambil Odha area and extended support to the people residing in shanties that were being removed during an anti-encroachment drive by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). The drive was eventually suspended after a local court issued a stay order, and even the Maharashtra government intervened and directed the civic body to immediately stop it.
Abhijit Gaikwad, who heads the Pune unit of Azad Samaj Party, said that Azad visited Ambil Odha and spoke to the residents. “We are against the inhuman action of removing the shanties,” he said.
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