Mumbai: The Uddhav Thackeray-led coalition government of Maharashtra is likely to introduce a bill before the on-going budget session of the state legislature to give 5 per cent reservation for Muslims in educational institutions in the state.
Informing this here on Friday, the NCP spokesman and the Maharashtra minister for Minority Affairs, Nawab Malik said that the proposed bill will be tabled during the budget session of the Maharashtra assembly. The government is planning to make room for reservation in jobs and the government is seeking legal advice for it. The previous government, a coalition between Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena and the BJP, didn’t give reservation for Muslims despite a court order, Malik said.
The Maharashtra minister said, “We will try to give reservation to Muslims in education by the end of this (assembly) session. We will try to give 5 per cent reservation.” The proposed plan to give 5 per cent reservation to Muslims may add to the existing quota figure, which is already above the 50 per cent capped by the Supreme Court, after quotas to Marathas in education and jobs were introduced last year.
The Bombay High Court in June last year upheld the previous state government’s decision to provide reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions but slashed the quantum to 13 per cent from 16 per cent that was set by the government. The reservation for the Marathas had added to the overall reservation figure, pushing it upwards of 50 per cent, the cap set by the Supreme Court.
The government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has not yet announced how they plan to go about the 50 per cent quota cap.
The then Congress-NCP government had given a reservation of Maratha and Muslims. The quota was given through two separate categories, namely the educationally and Socially Backward Category (ESBC) for Marathas as well as a Special Backward Class (Muslims) segment for the Muslim. However, the reservation was challenged before the higher court. Subsequently, the BJP-Sena coalition government gave the reservation to Maratha while it refused to give reservation to Muslims.