Ashok Chavan met Sharad Pawar on Maratha reservation issue

sharad pawar & Ashok Chavan

Mumbai : Amid the Maratha reservation controversy over the Supreme Court verdict, the senior Maharashtra minister and the Congress leader Ashok Chavan met the NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai on Monday and discussed the issue. Chavan is the head of Maharashtra government’s sub-committee on Maratha reservation.

While talking to the mediapersons, Chavan informed that a petition has to be filed in Apex Court for vacating its interim order on Maratha reservation. The Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray has discussed the matter with senior leaders, he said after meeting with NCP boss, Pawar.

Both the leaders reportedly also chalked out a strategy how the government should fight the matter before the larger bench of the Supreme Court. The top court of the country had stayed the Maratha reservation in government jobs and educational institutions and referred the matter to a Constitution Bench for final adjudication, a few days ago. However, a three-judge Bench led by Justice L Nageswara Rao, said admissions already made to PG courses shall not to be altered. Now, the matter will be placed before CJI SA Bobde for constituting an appropriate Bench.

The Maharashtra Assembly had passed the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 granting 16 per cent reservation to Marathas beyond the 50 per cent ceiling imposed in the Supreme Court’s 1992 verdict in the Indra Shawney case. The Bombay High Court had on June 27, 2019 upheld reservation for Marathas in the state but quashed the 16 per cent quota, terming it “not justifiable.” The high court had ruled that it should not exceed 12 per cent for education and 13 per cent for government jobs as recommended by Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission. The high court had said the 50 per cent cap on total reservations imposed by the Supreme Court could be exceeded in exceptional circumstances.

The role of senior cabinet minister and Congress leader, Chavan was questioned by many on the reservation of Maratha community. The Shiv Sangram Party leader Vinayak Mete even sought the removal of Congress minister Chavan as the head of Maharashtra government’s subcommittee on Maratha reservation. Mete said Chavan was not serious about winning the Maratha quota case in the Supreme Court. “Ashok Chavan, who heads the cabinet subcommittee on Maratha reservation, does not seem serious about winning the case. He should be removed,” Mete claimed.