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Govt for development of all Muslims, not just a section: Fadnavis on quota
Saturday February 7, 2015 12:07 PM, Staff Reporter

A day before completing hundred days in office and facing frontal attack on the BJP's Maharashtra government's 'double standard' on reservation to Marathas and Muslims, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said his government is committed to the welfare of the entire Muslim community.

"My Government is for all-round development of the Muslim community. The quota proposed by the previous Government would have benefited only a minuscule section of the Muslim population," Fadnavis said.

He also said that the BJP-Shiv Sena Government would chalk out a holistic policy for the welfare of Muslims which would include "outcome- specific expenditure".

The Chief Minister termed Congress-NCP government's stand on quota for the Muslims as flawed and accused the two parties, which ruled the state for 15 years in a row, of playing vote bank politics.

"The Congress-NCP hurriedly announced reservation for Muslims in educational institutes and Government jobs. However, only education quota for the community was upheld by the Bombay High Court.

"Since there was confusion on the issue and whether reservations can be granted on religion grounds, we are in the process of consulting constitutional experts," he said.

In June last year, then ruling Congress-NCP had announced reservation for Muslims and the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions, a decision which was challenged in the High Court.

The HC in its decision stayed the decision to provide reservation to Muslims in jobs, but allowed quota for them in educational institutions while simultaneously staying the Maratha reservation.

The Fadnavis government however passed a legislation in its first ever assembly session in Nagpur granting reservation to the Marathas while refusing to extend the same to Muslims.

The blatant 'double standard' created a political storm in the state. While Congress, MIM and other parties protested the move, Muslim NGOs notably Jamiat-e-Ulema met the chief minister and demanded a reversal in the government stand.

Muslim population in Maharashtra is over 12%, and they are the largest minority group in India. But, majority of Muslims are living under inhuman condition and a very small percentage of them are currently in higher and professional education, and in government sector.

To address this gap, reservation to Muslims was first recommended by Ranganath Mishra Commission and Sachar Comittee and later by Dr Mehmoodur Rehman Committee formed by government of Maharashtra.

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