‘Black day’ for Marathas: Maha BJP after SC stays quota law

MUMBAI: It is a “black day” for Marathas, the Maharashtra BJP said on Wednesday as it attacked the state MVA government after the Supreme Court stayed implementation of 2018 law granting quota to the community in education and jobs.

State BJP president Chandrakant Patil claimed the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), comprising the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress, was “not serious” in ensuring that the quota held its ground before the apex court.

He also charged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and NCP president Sharad Pawar with not paying attention to the matter.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the implementation of the law, but made it clear that the status of those who have availed of the benefits will not be disturbed.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice L N Rao referred to a larger constitution bench, to be set up by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, the batch of pleas questioning the validity of the law granting the reservation to Marathas.

“The MVA could not ensure the reservation held ground before the Supreme Court,” Patil told reporters here.

Noting that the apex court referred the batch of pleas challenging the validity of the law to a larger bench, Patil said now nobody knows when the ruling in the matter will come.

Patil contended that matters referred to larger bench in the past have remained pending for years.

“This means the stay will continue till the bench gives an order. Now there is no point in the community protesting either, because nobody knows when the ruling will come. Therefore, it is a black day for the community,” the BJP leader said.

He said his party had repeatedly told the MVA government to take the issue seriously and prepare well legally for the same.

“The MVA did not want the reservation. Which senior leader of theirs paid attention to the matter? Did Uddhav ji or Sharad Pawar pay attention?” he asked.

“There is a scope to say now that their mindset was such that they were fine if the quota was stayed as they were not serious to ensure it holds ground,” Patil added.

The Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act, 2018 was enacted to grant reservation to people of the Maratha community in Maharashtra in jobs and education.

The Bombay High Court, while upholding the law in June last year, had held that 16 per cent reservation was not justifiable and said the quota should not exceed 12 per cent in employment and 13 per cent in admissions.

The politically dominant Maratha community, which constitutes over 30 per cent of the state’s population, held several protests in the past demanding reservation in jobs and education.




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