With the Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM) planning to initiate a “jail bharo agitation” today across Maharashtra till August 9 which will witness MKM members stage a demonstration at the Azad Maidan, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis clarified the government’s stand to grant reservation to the community.
“Some people have suggested that we issue an ordinance for reservation. We can do that, but such an ordinance will not last even a single day in the courts. Our government is working towards a reservation that can withstand legal scrutiny and get implemented. For that we have to follow a specific legal procedure as laid down by the apex court in its 1992 order,’’ Fadnavis was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying.
Taking precautions before the intensification of protest, more than 500 police personnel are deployed in Chakan, near Pune, which bore the brunt of the violence on July 30.
On Tuesday, 1 protester in Beed district committed suicide, stating that the delay in granting reservation to Marathas had led him to take this extreme step. The man identified as Deshmukh is the fifth person to commit suicide with the Maratha protests since July 23.
“What is going on in the state today is deeply disturbing. If we look at reservations only from an emotive angle, then we will succeed only in fanning anger in the community. But, if we have to ensure reservation to the community, then we must understand its legal aspects. Our stance is that reservation must sustain and be legally sound,” Fadnavis was quoted by HT on being asked about the protests.
The main hindrance in granting the reservation to Marathas is from a 1992 Supreme Court order that states that if reservation quota is to be hiked over 50% percent then evidence of social backwardness of the community must be shown by appointing a backward class commission.
The Bombay high court, in 2014 struck down the reservation of 16% granted by the Nationalist Congress Party, and the Supreme Court had upheld the decision.