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Maharashtra Legislature clears 16 per cent quota for Marathas, 68 per cent in total


Mumbai: A long-standing demand of the Maratha community has finally been fulfilled as the Maharashtra Legislature on Thursday unanimously passed a bill granting it 16 per cent reservation under a new and independent category: social and educationally backward class (SEBC). With this, Marathas will now be eligible for 16 per cent reservation in educational institutions and government jobs. The reservation quantum in the state will rise to 68 per cent, with the passage of the bill.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis tabled the bill in the Assembly and Council in the afternoon and it was passed without any discussion as legislators across party lines supported it.

Amid Mr Fadnavis’ actions, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members, who had arrived in the House wearing saffron turbans, hailed the move by chanting ‘Shivaji Maharaj Ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Shivaji, Jai Bhavani.’

The bill, named ‘Maharashtra State Reservation (of seats for admission in educational institutions in the state and for appointments in the public services and posts under the State) for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act-2018, was passed by Houses and was converted into an Act. Now it will go to the governor for his approval.

The bill will be applicable to all direct recruitments and appointments made in public services and posts in the state except super specialised posts in medical, technical and educational fields; posts to be filled by transfer or deputation; temporary appointments of less than 45 days’ duration; and posts that are single (isolated) in any cadre or grade.

According to the bill, Marathas will avail reservation in all educational institutions except minority institutions. The ECBC shall also be considered for the allotment on unreserved seats and appointments to public services and posts, which shall be filled on the basis of merit. The bill states that any admission authority, who wilfully acts in a manner intended to contravene or defeat the purpose of this Act shall be punished with imprisonment for 90 days or a fine. The Marathas shall not get benefit of reservation in cases where the selection process had already been initiated before the commencement of this Act.