A new bill to give 5 per cent reservation for Muslims in educational institutions in Maharashtra will be introduced in the state assembly soon, a minister in the coalition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government said today. This bill will be tabled during the budget session of the Maharashtra assembly, Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik said today.
Mr Malik from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) - one of the three alliance members of the MVA - said they are also planning to make room for reservation in jobs and the government is seeking legal advice for it.
The previous government, a coalition between Uddhav Thackeray's Shiv Sena and the BJP, didn't give reservation for Muslims despite a court order, Mr Malik said.
"We will try to give reservation to Muslims in education by the end of this (assembly) session. We will try to give 5 per cent reservation," said the minister from Sharad Pawar's NCP that along with the Congress and the Shiv Sena formed government last November after the Sena quit the alliance with BJP over power-sharing.
The plan to give 5 per cent reservation to Muslims may add to the existing quota figure, which is already above the 50 per cent capped by the Supreme Court, after quotas to Marathas in education and jobs were introduced last year.
The Bombay High Court in June last year upheld the previous state government's decision to provide reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and educational institutions, but slashed the quantum to 13 per cent from 16 per cent that was set by the government. The reservation for the Marathas had added to the overall reservation figure, pushing it upwards of 50 per cent, the cap set by the Supreme Court.
The government led by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has not yet announced how they plan to go about the 50 per cent quota cap.