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Reservation to Muslims after all legal hurdles removed: Maharashtra CM
Tuesday May 28, 2013 1:28 AM, Ather Shazan, ummid.com

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Monday said that the state government was committed to giving reservation to the Muslim community, but a decision in this regard would be taken only after all legal hurdles were removed.

"We don't want our decision to be challenged as was done in the case of Andhra Pradesh and other states. We are committed to giving reservation to the Muslims. But a decision will be taken only after all legal hurdles are removed", Chavan said during a meeting with the delegation of Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) at Varsha – his official residence, late in the evening on Monday.

He said that his government was working on a strategy so that a 'foolproof' solution was worked out to grant a quota for the Muslim community.

"Though there are constitutional and legal difficulties, we are taking all efforts so that an additional quota for the Muslims is made possible in Maharashtra", he said.

The Chief Minister also said that the government had appointed a single member Mehmoodur Rehman Committee to assess the socio-economic and education status of the Muslims in the state. He said that once the report was out, it would become easier for the government to decide on the reservation.

Acknowledging the efforts taken by the Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) convener Asif Shaikh Rasheed, and others from Malegaon and different parts of the state who participated in the 300-km long paidal-march from Malegaon to Mumbai, the chief minister said he will personally come to Malegaon to make the final announcement.

"The efforts taken by you are noteworthy. I will come to Malegaon to announce the government's decision to grant the Muslim community a reservation in public sector jobs", he said.

Besides Abdul Hameed Azhari, Advocate Niyaz Lodhi and Soofi Ghulam Rasool, others who were present during the meeting were Arif Naseem Khan, Mushtaq Antulay and Balasaheb Thorat.

Earlier, the Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) entered Mumbai at around 11:00 in the morning and reached the KJ Somaiya College ground at 01:00 in the afternoon. An estimated 05,000 strong crowd was already present there to greet the equal number of marchers.

The Muslim Reservation Federation (MRF) march which started from Malegaon on May 17 was supposed to culminate at Azad Maidan. However, after the police denied them a permission to organise a rally there, it was decided to end the 10-day march at Somaiya ground.

Asif Shaikh Rasheed, Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi, Maharashtra Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat, Mubarak Kapdi and others addressed the gathering at Somaiya ground.

The MRF gave the state government a time till June 26 to decide on the reservation.

They said if a decision was not taken by then, they will start a bigger and more powerful protest from the next month.

[File Photo: Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Balasaheb Thorat and Sudhir Tambe during a rally in Malegaon]


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