Maratha quota: BJP wants Maha govt to move SC, package for community

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(Eds: combining related stories) Nagpur, May 14 (PTI) Accusing the Maharashtra government of passing the buck on the Maratha quota issue to the Centre, the BJP on Friday demanded that the state also file a review petition in the Supreme Court, and provide a Rs 3,000 crore package to the community.

Speaking to reporters in Nagpur, BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said the Union government has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court which on May 5 struck down the quota for the Marathas in education and government jobs.

'But the state is yet to file a review petition seeking to increase the 50 per cent cap on reservation,' the former chief minister said.

The BJP-led Union government had made it clear in Parliament that the 102nd constitutional amendment does not affect states' rights to grant reservation, he said.

'The state government is only passing the buck on the Maratha quota issue,' he alleged.

On Thursday, the Centre moved the apex court seeking review of the May 5 majority verdict which said the 102nd amendment took away states' power to declare any community as `Socially and Educationally Backward'.

Speaking to reporters in Kolhapur, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil demanded a Rs 3,000 crore package for the Maratha community. He too demanded that the Uddhav Thackeray- led Maharashtra government move the SC for a review, accusing it of shirking its responsibility.

Reacting strongly, state minister Ashok Chavan said the BJP was frustrated over the loss of power in the state and the so-called `foolproof' Maratha quota law passed by the Fadnavis government getting exposed in the apex court.

It has affected Patil's 'mental health' and he needs 'treatment', the Congress leader who heads the state cabinet's sub-committee on the quota issue said.

Meanwhile, Union Social Justice Minister Ramdas Athawale met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari here and demanded that President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervene to grant a separate quota based on financial parameters to Marathas, Rajputs, Thakurs and other 'Kshatriya' communities.

Athawale, in his statement, also accused the Maharashtra government of doing injustice to backward communities by `cancelling' reservation in promotion. The governor should intervene in the matter, he demanded. PTI ND ENM COR NP BNM KRK KRK

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