BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray should not give "vague" replies on the 5 per cent Muslim quota issue and declare "with courage" that his government will not bring law granting reservation to the minority community.
Mr Fadnavis made the remark after Mr Thackeray, during a press conference earlier in the day, said he has not yet received the proposal regarding giving quota to Muslims and that the Shiv Sena-led government is yet to take any decision on it.
Mr Thackeray made the comments after Maharashtra Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik recently said in the legislative council that thestate government will provide 5 per cent quota to Muslims in education.
Mr Malik, an NCP leader, had also said the state government will ensure that a legislation to this effect is passed soon.
The NCP and the Congress, both proponents of Muslim quota, are constituents of the Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government.
Asked about Mr Thackeray's remarks on the issue, Mr Fadnavis said instead of making comments at the press conference, the chief minister should make a statement in the legislature which is currently having its budget session.
The Leader of the Opposition in the assembly said that Mr Malik's opinion is the official position of the government as the minister had talked about giving quota in the council.
"So, instead of making vague comments in the press conference, the chief minister should say in the council that it is not his view (the one expressed by chief minister).
"The chief minister gave vague answers during the press conference, saying the proposal has not come to him. Your minister (Malik) only has said it," Mr Fadnavis told reporters outside the legislature building complex.
The BJP leader maintained there is no provision in the Constitution for religion-based reservation in government jobs or education.
"Say with courage that you will not give the quota, that the Constitution doesn't accept quota based on religion. Hence, we (the government) will not bring law granting quota," the former Chief Minister said.
Mr Fadnavis claimed that if given within the 50 per cent ceiling set by the Supreme Court, the Muslim quota will affect the existing reservation granted to OBCs.
"And if given outside it, it will affect Maratha quota," he added.