The Maharashtra government has decided to finalise its next legal move in two days to vacate the Supreme Court’s (SC) stay on the implementation of Maratha reservation. The decision was taken at the all-party meet convened by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday.
On September 9, the Apex court stayed the implementation of Maratha quota in jobs and education and referred the case to a to a larger constitution bench. The stay is a political setback to the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state as the move has stalled the ongoing admission process and created discontent in the Maratha community.
This, in turn, has given the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) another issue to target the Thackeray-led government.
Thackeray, however, seemed confident of the support of the Opposition and even praised BJP after the meeting. “We will approach the Supreme Court to lift the stay. In the next two days, we will consult all legal experts and decide on further course of action,” he said.
Opposition parties, which blamed the MVA government for failing to uphold the quota in the Apex court, however said they would cooperate with the government. “We feel the best option is to approach the Chief Justice and request him to constitute a larger bench,” said Devendra Fadnavis, Leader of Opposition.
Fadnavis, however, took a dig at the MVA government and said, “During my tenure as chief minister, I was in constant touch with lawyers, and it was like a running commentary even when they were in the SC. The state government should have approached us before. However, we have decided to leave the past behind as our aim is to get reservation for Marathas.”
The Supreme Court in its order held that Marathas do not need reservation, saying the state government has not shown any “extraordinary situation” which warrants the reservation. After the verdict, Maratha outfits started protests against MPs and MLAs.
Thackeray has once again appealed to protesters to call of their agitation. “The government is committed to give you reservation and we are all one in this fight,” said Thackeray.
Vinayak Mete, who represents the Shiv Sangram party, asked the government to rein in the police who are acting against the protesters and withdraw all cases against protesters.