The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on Tuesday welcomed the Shiv Sena’s support to reservation for Muslims in education. The party criticised the Devendra Fadnavis-led government, which, it said, was defying the Bombay High Court’s order by not implementing the 5 per cent quota for Muslims.
At a press conference on Monday, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had said: “Apart from the Marathas, reservation demands of Dhangars, Muslims and other communities should also be taken into account.” Thackeray added that his party would support the state and the Union government on the issue.
About reservation for Muslims, Uddhav said if there were reasonable demands from the Muslim community, they should also be considered.
Welcoming the Sena’s stand, AIMIM MLA Imtiaz Jaleel said: “It is a positive development. The BJP should take a cue… Some BJP leaders, through their acts and utterances, are targeting Muslims,” he said.
Jaleel said 5 per cent reservation demand for the Muslim community has received the Bombay High Court’s support. “While rejecting the demands of the Maratha community for OBC status, the high court had allowed 5 per cent reservation for Muslims. In case of the Maratha community, the court had rejected the move and called for setting up of a Backward Classes Commission. In Muslims’ case, the court has supported the quota in education based on circumstantial evidence. However, it is highly regrettable that the state government is yet to implement the HC directive,” he said.
Jaleel said the Bombay High Court’s move meant a lot for Muslim youths. “The court order is significant as it aims at removing the educational backwardness of the community. A large number of youths, because of lack of proper education, have to take up menial jobs. It is time Muslim youths get higher education, which will result in better jobs and improvement in their living standards. Every effort should be made to remove educational backwardness of the community,” he said.
Jaleel said his party was planning to launch an agitation to demand a job quota for Muslims. “An announcement to this effect will be made soon,” he said.
A BJP leader said the Congress-NCP government had in 2014 issued an ordinance giving 5 per cent reservation in jobs for Muslims. “The ordinance, however, lapsed on December 23, 2014, after which the government scrapped the resolution,” said a BJP leader.
In June 2014, the Congress-NCP government had approved 16 per cent reservation for Marathas and five per cent for Muslims. On November 14, 2014, the high court had put an stay on 16 per cent reservation for Marathas. “The court had also stayed the decision to provide a five per cent job quota to Muslims in government services, but it allowed quotas for them in educational institutions,” said Jaleel.