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Maharashtra govt wants Maratha quota to be foolproof; no hasty decision: Shinde ahead of all-party meeting

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MUMBAI/NAGPUR, Sept 11: The Maharashtra government wants to give quota to the Maratha
community which will be foolproof and stands legal scrutiny but it won’t take any hasty decision, chief
minister Eknath Shinde said on Monday ahead of the all-party meeting.
Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the government will try for broad consensus on how to
move forward on issues raised by Marathas and other communities at the meeting.
“The state government wants to give the Maratha community a reservation that will be foolproof and
which will pass legal test. We are not taking any decision in haste. The state does not want to cheat
anybody,” Shinde told reporters in Mumbai.
He said the government needs to establish that the Maratha community is socially and educationally
backward and also assure other communities that their quotas will not be affected.
“The demand for Maratha quota is a social issue and not a political one. I hope opposition parties will
come up with some suggestions and avoid politicising the issue,” the chief minister said when asked
about his expectations from the all-party meeting, scheduled to be held in Mumbai this evening.
He pointed out that the state government is parallelly giving out several facilities and financial assistance
to students from the Maratha community on par with the other backward communities.
Fadnavis said the government would address the demands of various communities without politicising
the quota issue and would try to arrive at a decision suitable to the interests of the state.
“As the head of the state, chief minister Eknath Shinde has called the all-party meeting today. The
agenda is to create a broad consensus over the Maratha quota issue. Several organisations have also
raised their demands regarding reservations,” he said.

Queried about the decision of Manoj Jarange, the quota activist who has been on hunger strike for the
last 14 days, to stop drinking water, Fadnavis said, “The government needs to take a decision which will
pass the legal test, otherwise, the community will blame us for misleading them”.
He said the state government won’t take any decision which would bring two communities (OBCs and
Marathas) face to face.
Jarange has demanded that all Marathas be given the Kunbi status, which effectively means the OBC
quota.
The rounds of talks held between the state government and the quota activist from Jalna district have
remained inconclusive so far.
“We will not allow any injustice to happen to OBCs. The state government will not take any decision
which will bring two communities (OBCs and Marathas) face to face,” Fadnavis said in Nagpur.
He hoped that leaders of all communities would avoid giving statements that hurt the sentiments of any
community.
“I want to assure OBCs that no injustice would be done to them,” the deputy CM added. (PTI)

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