INDIA. Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray who called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, raised several issues including reservation in job and employment to the Maratha community, recently struck down by the Supreme Court.
Thackeray accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and PWD Minister Ashok Chavan, held discussions with Modi. In the meeting, Thackeray is believed to have underscored that the BJP, the main opposition in Maharashtra, is trying to amplify the quota row and it could snowball.
Reservation was given to Marathas in 2018 by the then Devendra Fadnavis government. The Bombay High Court upheld the quota, but its decision was paused by the Supreme Court. On May 31, 2021, the Maharashtra government extended benefits to the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC), including a 10 percent reservation to the Maratha community.
On Tuesday, while welcoming the Union Government’s decision to file a review petition in the supreme court (as per 102 and amendment to the constitution), Thackeray suggested that the articles 15(4) and 16(4) could be amended to relax the cap of 50 percent on total reservations, to give relief to the Maratha community. Besides, under article 16(4A) scheduled caste, scheduled tribes, and other backward class people are entitled to promotion in jobs. But due to the decision of the Supreme Court, their promotions are held up.
He also asked for the details of the Socio-Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC 2011) conducted in all states and union territories, the findings of which were revealed on July 03, 2015. It was the first paperless census in India conducted on hand-held electronic devices by the government in 640 districts.
Thackeray also brought it to the notice of the PM, that the Supreme Court has pointed out certain anomalies in the reservation for the Other Backward Class (OBC) community. Due to this, there is a stay on the reservation of seats for the OBC which will impact over 56,000 seats currently reserved in the local-self bodies (Gram panchayats).
He also pointed out that Maharashtra is yet to get a Rs 24,306 crore GST refund. Also, an amount of Rs. 1444.84 crore (Rs 625.63 crore for 2018-2019 and Rs 819.21crore for 2019-2020) towards performance grant as recommended by the union housing and urban development ministries, is due to the state. Also an amount of Rs. 1208.72 crore ( from 2016-2017 to 2019-2020) recommended by the Union Rural Development Ministry is yet to be given to the state.
Metro Rail car depot
Thackeray raised the issue of a car shed at Kanjur Marg in North East Mumbai and said that the Mumbai Metro Railway projects -III, IV, IV-A, VI, XIV will get an integrated benefit if the car depot is set up at Kanjur Marg and the depot will not be restricted to the Metro railway III alone. However a litigation objecting to the depot at the site, is pending in the court and the Union Government has been made party to it. As such a conciliatory stand be taken by the Union Government to resolve the issue.
Other issues raised in the meeting included: Central relief to those affected by the recent Tauktae cyclone, crop insurance, bulk drug park to be set up in Maharashtra, modification of NDRF norms to become eligible for disaster compensation, refund of dues from the 14 th finance commission, a status of classical language to Marathiand the pending approval by the Maharashtra Governor Bhagatsingh Koshyari to the 12 candidates nominated to the Maharashtra Legislative Council by the MVA Government.