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Maratha Quota: Home Minister Anil Deshmukh promises 13% reservation in police force

07:59 AM Sep 18, 2020 | Sanjay Jog

Even as the Maharashtra Government is exploring a slew of options to restore the Maratha reservation stayed by the Supreme Court, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh on Thursday said his department will check whether 13 per cent posts in police recruitment can be set aside for the Maratha community as per the law. The state government will try to give justice to the Maratha community. This is important as the state cabinet on Wednesday approved the mega recruitment of 12,528 posts of police constables in the state. The government’s announcement had evoked mixed reactions.

“The government is trying its best to restore the Maratha reservation in education and government jobs. While recruiting 12,528 police constables to fill up the vacant posts, the government will set aside 13% for the Maratha community after examining the legal provisions,’’ said Deshmukh. He further stated that 13% posts will keep vacant for the Maratha community till the reservation passes the Supreme Court test.

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This is Deshmukh’s attempt to keep the Maratha community in good humour as the pro-Maratha quota organisations have given calls to launch state agitation. The state Cabinet has directed the Home Department to take further action in the matter on the advice of the General Administration Department and the Law and Justice Department in the wake of the SC's interim stay on Maratha quota given as per the provisions of the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act,2018.

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Deshmukh’s announcement comes after the Shivsangram Sanghatana founder Vinayak Mete urged him to keep 13% vacancies for the Maratha community during the proposed recruitment of 12,528 constables across the state.

The Cabinet has directed the Home Department to take further action in the matter on the advice of the General Administration Department and the Law and Justice Department in the wake of the SC's interim stay on socially and educationally backward class reservations.

Rajya Sabha member Sambhaji Raje has criticised the state government for announcing the police recruitment at a time when SC has stayed Maratha quota. He said the recruitment should not take place till the Maratha quota is restored. He opined that the present environment is not conducive for the government to launch recruitment as it will further provoke the Maratha community. Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the police recruitment will have to be done but opined that the government should not do it in a haste.

Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar took charge of the various welfare and development schemes related to the Maratha community including the functioning of the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research, Training and Human Development Institute (SARATHI), a non-profit government company established under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013. These schemes and SARATHI have now been transferred to the Planning Department held by Pawar from the Department of OBC Welfare led by Vijay Wadettiwar.

The state government today issued a notification. The government took the decision after Wadettiwar, who was accused by pro-Maratha quota organisations of not doing justice to the community, himself requested to relieve him from the responsibility.

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