Mumbai: In a surprising turnaround in its stand, Shiv Sena supported 05% reservation for Muslims in education and government jobs and slammed the Devendra Fadnavis led government in Maharashtra for not implementing the Bombay High Court order.
“Apart from the Marathas, reservation demands of Dhangars, Muslims, Mahadev Koli, Wanjari and other communities should also be taken into account", Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray said adding that his party would support the state and the Union government on the issue.
Uddhav Thackeray was addressing a press conference called in Mumbai to announce Shiv Sena's support to the demands of Maratha community. Marathas, who are demanding quota in government jobs and education, have revived thier protests in the last one month.
When pressed further in the press conference, Thackeray reiterated Sena's support for Muslim reservation in jobs and education, saying, there is no reason for not considering the reservation for Muslims when there are reasonable demands from the community over the matter.
The erstwhile Congress-NCP government had in 2014 - barely few months before its term ended, had issued an ordinance granting reservation to Muslims. However, the present BJP refused to extend the ordinance or pass it into a law after it came to power in Maharashtra after the 2014 state elections.
The demand of reservation for Muslims in jobs and education is age-old. It gathered further momentum after Dr. Mehmoodur Rehman Committee in its report submitted to the Maharashtra government in October 2013 recommended besides other things quota for Muslims. Dr. Mehmoodur Rehman Committee was formed by the government to study socio-economic and educational status of Muslims in Maharashtra.
The Congress-NCP alliance government based on this report issued the ordinance granting reservation to Muslims. Interestingly, the two parties had a clear majority in the house and could have brought in a law instead of the ordinance on the matter. However, for reasons known only to them, they chose the ordinance which had a life of 06 months which the BJP simply ignored after coming to power.
The matter pertaining to reservation for Muslims and Marathas also went to the Bombay High Court where the court rejected the demands of the Maratha community for reservation, but ruled in favour of quota for Muslims. Despite the Bombay HC order, the BJP is supporting reservation for Marathas but refusing to even talk about the same for Muslims.
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