Days after a minister of the Maharashtra Maha Vikas Aghadi government said that Muslims will be given a 5% reservation in educational institutes, Shiv Sena, one of the constituents of the coalition, said this topic wasn't being discussed.
Sena runs Maharashtra along with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, and this development shows the allies aren't on the same page.
Last week, Minority Affairs Minister Nawab Malik, a member of NCP, declared the government is mulling the idea of giving reservations to Muslims.
"We will try to give reservation to Muslims in education by the end of this (Assembly) session," he said and added the idea won't be restricted to just education.
The government might also extend it to jobs, he underlined.
On Saturday, right-wing group, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), commented on the reports.
A tweet by the group read, "News of the Maharashtra government's decision to grant religion-based reservation to Muslims is worrisome. The appeasement of Muslims should not be done by a government led by Shiv Sena. This is the Hindu society's expectation."
Replying to it, Sena tweeted, "No such subject is under discussion".
ऐसा कोई भी विषय चर्चा में नहीं है। https://t.co/8fIfhAFmRc— Shivsena Communication (@ShivsenaComms) March 1, 2020
On Saturday, Sena's Eknath Shinde hinted his party agrees with the idea, but later said the saffron party wants to take all communities along.
"Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is in favor of taking all communities ahead. For farmers, the chief minister has announced a farm loan waiver of up to Rs. 2 lakh and we are on course to successfully implement it," he said.
Giving a 5% quota to Muslims will add to the existing figure in Maharashtra, which is already above 50%. The Supreme Court had put a cap that reservations shouldn't go beyond 50%, but defying it, the previous government introduced quotas for Marathas in education and jobs.
To note, in 2018, former CM Devendra Fadnavis refused to hand out reservation on the basis of religion.
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