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CM Devendra Fadnavis says decision on Maratha reservation within 15 days

Chief minister Devedra Fadnavis on Thursday said that the government will take a decision on providing reservation to Maratha community within 15 days.

The CM’s announcement came after the Maharashtra state backward class commission submitted its report on the social and economic conditions of the Marathas on Thursday. A government source said that it has favoured quota for the community.

The commission handed over the report to Maharashtra chief secretary D.K. Jain. “Appropriate decision will be taken after studying it,” he told reporters.

“We have received the report. Now all statutory formalities will be completed in the next 15 days,” Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.

Earlier in the day, at a rally in Ahmednagar district, Fadnavis said some people had threatened to launch a fresh agitation for quota on November 26. “Why do you want to do such things to take credit? Instead of agitating, be ready for celebration,” he said, indicating that the demand will be fulfilled.

According to a government source, the report has made favourable recommendations on the Maratha community’s demand of reservation in government jobs and educational institutions without tampering with the existing quota for the OBCs.

The politically dominant Maratha community constitutes over 30 per cent of the state’s population. There was a widespread agitation for quota in July and August this year.

A senior BJP minister said the government could table the reservation bill during the winter session of the state legislature which will start next Monday.

“The report will be tabled before the cabinet Sunday where the decision on reservation bill will be taken. Legal opinion will be sought as to whether a new bill should be introduced or the previous bill (ordinance) which was challenged in the HC and was stayed, should be amended,” he said.

According to a source, the commission, headed by justice N.G. Gaikwad (retired) went through two lakh memorandums, surveys of about 45,000 families and empirical data on social, financial and educational backwardness of the Marathas. The BJP minister said the party cannot afford to lose OBC votes, and therefore the Maratha quota has to be separate.

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