Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar and cabinet minister Ashok Chavan today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi over a range of issues including the Maratha reservation quota. Congress leader Ashok Chavan heads the cabinet sub-committee on the Maratha quota. State Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil had said that besides Maratha reservation, OBC reservation, GST refund and financial aid for cyclone relief was on the agenda for the meeting. The meeting between CM Thackeray and PM Modi comes after the Supreme Court on May 5 struck down a 2018 legislation providing reservation to the Maratha community in jobs and education in the state.
The Maharastra Legislative Assembly had passed the reservation law on November 30, 2018, providing 16 per cent quota in jobs and education to the community. While the Bombay High Court had upheld the law, it had reduced the quota to 12 per cent in education and 13 per cent in government jobs.
The Supreme Court had termed the Maratha reservation law unconstitutional saying that it breached the 50 per cent reservation cap. It also said that the Maratha community is not socially and educationally backward. The top court maintained that as per the 102nd constitutional amendment, states have no right to enact reservation law.
The state government contends that the 10 per cent quota for the Economically Weaker Section enacted by the Centre also breaches the 50 per cent ceiling set by the Supreme Court.
The Maharashtra government had formed a committee headed by Justice (retd) Dilip Bhosale to look into the judgement. The committee studied the top court’s ruling and had recommended filing a review petition.
Yesterday, NCP president Sharad Pawar had also called on CM Thackeray. Reports claimed that he met the CM over the quota issue. It was Pawar’s second meeting with Thackeray in a fortnight.
The Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government consists of the NCP and the Congress.