Maharashtra minister Ashok Chavan on Saturday said the Union government should come out in support of reservation for the Maratha community before the Supreme Court. The apex court has asked Attorney General K K Venugopal to assist the court in the matter which will be next heard on January 25, the Congress leader told reporters in Jalna.
"So the Centre should now submit its say in favour of the quota," he said. In September 2020, the Supreme Court stayed the implementation of the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes (SEBC) Act that granted quota to the Maratha community in jobs and education in the state.
Chavan, who heads a cabinet sub-committee on Maratha quota, demanded that the BJP-led Union government should put the Maratha quota act in the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution, so as to preclude its judicial review. Asked about BJP leader Vinayak Mete's demand that Chavan should be removed as head of the cabinet sub-committee following the setback in the SC, the former chief minister said, "I have been nominated by the government, not Mete. I am doing my duty sincerely to secure reservation." The Opposition should not politicise the issue as the matter is sub-judice, he added.
To a question on the ruling ally Shiv Sena's demand to rename Aurangabad as `Sambhajinagar', the minister said the Sena-NCP-Congress government has a Common Minimum Programme, in which renaming of Aurangabad does not figure. "State Congress president Balasaheb Thorat has already stated that the party would oppose any such proposal," Chavan said, claiming that there are no differences among the allies on the matter and there is no threat to the coalition government.