Maratha groups stage protests over job reservation issue

MUMBAI: Members of Maratha organisations hit the streets in different parts of Maharashtra on Friday to protest against the inept handling of the issue of quota for the community in jobs and education by the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.

In Osmanabad district in central Maharashtra, protesters held a demonstration near the famous Tuljabhavani temple over the quota issue. BJP MP Sambhaji Chhatrapati also took part in the protest.

Another protest was held at Parliin Beed district, also in central Maharashtra.

The protesters accused the Shiv Sena-led government of adopting a lackadaisical attitude towards the quota issue.

Because of an indifferent attitude by the three-party alliance government, the 2018 quota law was stayed by the Supreme Court, they alleged

“We oppose the government going ahead with the police recruitment and Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exams,” they said.

Maratha groups say these exams should not be conducted till there is a clarity on reservation for candidates from the community in government jobs.

Meanwhile, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Udayanraje Bhosale, the direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, supported the demand to postpone the October 11 MPSC exams.

In a Facebook post, he said the Maratha Kranti Morcha and student organisations have demanded postponement of the MPSC exams, but the state government is going ahead with the them, which is unfair.

“If there is any flare up, the state government will be held responsible,” Bhosale said.

Early last month, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the 2018 Maharashtra law granting reservation to Marathas in education and jobs.

It referred to a larger constitution bench the batch of pleas challenging the validity of the law granting reservation to Marathas in education and jobs.

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

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

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