Maha: Two former CMs spar over Maratha quota issue in Assembly

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Mumbai, Mar 10 (PTI) Maharashtra PWD minister Ashok Chavan and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday sparred in the state Legislative Assembly over the Maratha quota issue currently being heard by the Supreme Court, with both of them accusing each other of indulging in politics.

Chavan, who heads the cabinet sub-committee on the Maratha quota issue, first made a statement in the lower house apprising the members about the ongoing case in the apex court on the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act that granted reservation to the Maratha community.

Reacting to it, Fadnavis, who is the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, accused Chavan of not speaking the truth and misleading the house.

'I will move a breach of privilege notice against Chavan. The minister doesn't even know that the SEBC Act passed by my government in 2018 was before the 102nd Constitutional amendment,' the former chief minister said.

However, Chavan countered him saying that the 2018 SEBC Act is a completely new legislation and not an amendment.

'The SEBC Act mentions that on its commencement, the Maharashtra State Reservation for Educationally and Socially Backward Categories (ESBC) Act 2014 (for reservation of seats for admission in educational institutions in the state and for appointments or posts in public services), shall be repealed,' the Congress minister said.

The 102nd constitutional amendment was done on August 11, 2018 and got the Presidential nod on August 15, 2018. The amendment said that there will be acommission for socially and educationally backward classes known as National Commission for Backward Classes, he added.

Chavan, also a former chief minister, said the President of India, in consultation with the state governor, will specify the educationally and socially backward classes.

The Parliament will include or exclude from the central list of socially and educationally backward classes, 'I haven't given any wrong information regarding the hearing on March 8 and what the Central government told the apex court. Those who have seen the online hearing know about it and the media has also reported the details,' he said. PTI MR NP NP