#MarathaReservations: Maharashtra assembly grants 16% reservations to Marathas
A bit more than a week after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced that the Maratha community would get reservations in government jobs and educational institutes, the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, on Thursday, unanimously passed the reservation bill. The Maratha community has been awarded 16% reservation in jobs and education under the social and educationally backward category (SEBC). Here are the details.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra CM Fadnavis introduced the bill and the action taken report (ATR) on the Maharashtra State Backward Classes Commission's (MSBCC) recommendations. The draft of the bill, along with copies of the ATR, were circulated among assembly members, and the government said that it felt that awarding 16% reservation to the Maratha community was "justified".
On Monday, the Maharashtra government had made it clear that it would not make the MSBCC report public, but would only table it in the state legislature. Commenting on the government's decision, Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil had said that the government would not make the report public, as its findings could be challenged in court. However, some details had been leaked earlier.
Reportedly, the MSBCC had found that 37.8% of Marathas were below the poverty line - higher than the 25% base line. Further, it found that over 60% of Marathas lived in mud houses, while 62.78% of Marathas had small or marginal landholdings. These indicators were beyond what was required to be classified as a backward community. However, it's worth noting that these findings were contradictory to findings by earlier backward classes commissions.
The Maratha community, which accounts for over 30% of Maharashtra's population, had been agitating for reservations in government jobs and educational institutes since 2017. In August this year, the agitations intensified as thousands of Marathas took the streets. Violence broke out in Pune and Aurangabad resultant of the protests, and mass demonstrations took place in Mumbai and Thane.