Today, Maharashtra government approved 10% reservation for Economically Backward Section (EWS) of the general category in government jobs and educational institutions across the state. With this decision, Maharashtra becomes the seventh state to have approved the bill to implement the reservation.
Maharashtra Cabinet approves 10% reservation in education and employment opportunities for economically weaker sections. pic.twitter.com/38Sa7jG6jr
— ANI (@ANI) February 4, 2019
Earlier, in November last year, Maharashtra government had passed a Bill proposing 16 percent reservation for the socially and educationally backward class which paved the way for Maratha reservation in the state.
On January 8, the Lok Sabha passed the EWS quota Bill and later, on the last day of winter session, Rajya Sabha too approved the bill. Further, on January 25, the top Court issued a notice to Centre on pleas challenging the constitutional amendment. However, the top Court refused to stay implementation of the bill, while a bench of the apex court headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi said, “we will examine the issue”.
After the implementation of the Quota bill in Maharashtra, it became the seventh state after Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Assam to do so. However, the noteworthy fact is that not even a single non-NDA state has given approval for the quota so far.
Moreover, Congress’ ally – Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) – filed a writ petition in Madras High Court against the amendment to deprive the upper caste of availing the benefit of reservation. Earlier, DMK’s organising secretary, RS Bharathi had filed the writ petition. The petition stated, “The concept of reservation, being an exception to the equality clause, is only justified when it is used for the purpose of upliftment of communities which have suffered discrimination and oppression like the OBC, SCs and STs. Economic criteria alone cannot be the basis of reservation since reservation is not a poverty alleviation scheme.” Similarly, in Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, minister Ravindra Choubey had said that the announcement of reservation for the upper castes is completely BJP’s electoral ploy.
Not only that, during the passage of the Bill, the opposition tried to create many hurdles, the house was adjourned many times because of the ruckus created by the opposition parties. The opposition also questioned the timing of the Bill and said that BJP is doing all this for electoral reasons.
It is clearly evident that the opposition is trying to delay the implementation of the reservation. With elections round the corner, the opposition, especially Congress party had no option but to support the Quota bill when it was debated upon in the Lok Sabha. But now when it comes to the implementation part, the opposition parties appear to be blatantly ignoring the welfare of a large number of people belonging to the general category.