Updated: January 8, 2021 9:16:52 pm
The Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM) has expressed its disappointment over a circular issued for the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examination. The circular states that Marathas seeking reservation under the Socially and Economically Backward Class (SEBC) category should apply under open or the Economically Weaker Section.
The MPSC examination, which is conducted to recruit workers in various government departments, will be held in March. It was postponed last year due to the pandemic.
The MKM believes by giving option between open and EWS categories, the government has closed the possibility for reservation of Maratha candidates under the SEBC.
MKM chief coordinator Rajendra Kondhare said, “We are confronted with a confusion as the state government is not consistent in its stand. In the past four months, the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government came up with four new decisions.”
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“On January 4, the MPSC circular was issued asking students, eligible under the SEBC category, to apply under the open or EWS categories. The deadline is January 15,” Kondhare added. A lot of students, who were keen to avail of benefits under the SEBC category, are eagerly waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision. The hearing will begin on January 25.
The first statement from the state was reassuring when it told the apex court: “We are not going to recruit candidates in government jobs due to Covid-19.” After a month it announced, “We will recruit 12,000 candidates for police department.” Following protests from the Marathas, the government came up with another announcement saying, “We will ensure that the SEBC quota for Maratha candidates are kept aside. Once court gives its decision, the quota will be filled up.” The fourth statement reads, “We will go ahead with recruitment without the SEBC. If candidates want they should choose open or EWS.”
The MKM has urged the government not to remove the SEBC options as such decisions would be detrimental for the Marathas.
Much to the government’s embarrassment, ruling party MLA Rohit Pawar has also expressed strong reservation against the MPSC exam circular. In a letter to deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Rohit demanded the circular to be withdrawn. He also opined that the option of appearing in the exam through multiple attempts, introduced for open category, should be revoked.
From this year, a candidate can opt for a maximum attempts of six to appear in the MPSC exam under the open category, while it is nine for the Other Backward Classes and unlimited for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe candidates.
As per rules, candidates, aged between 17 and 38, can sit for the MPSC examination. Candidates belonging to the OBC and SC and ST get three and six years of age relaxation respectively.
The circular has irked several organisations. However, cabinet sub-committee head and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan said, “The government is committed to Maratha reservation under the SEBC. Since the matter is embroiled in legal and constitutional challenges and the Supreme Court has stayed its implementation, we explored other options to accommodate the Maratha candidates. The government is not forcing anybody from the Maratha community to choose between the open or the EWS. If they wish, they can wait for the Supreme Court’s verdict.”
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