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Maharashtra: Maha Vikas Aghadi government proposes to extend 5% reservations for Muslims in education

Nawab Malik also assured the State Legislative Council of taking 'appropriate action' in this regard before the beginning of the upcoming academic year and admissions process.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra has proposed to extend the contentious 5 per cent reservations for Muslims across educational institutes in the state.

Informing about the government proposal to provide reservations to Muslims in educational institutes, Minority Affairs minister Nawab Malik said that the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government will soon bring in an ordinance to this effect in the ongoing Budget session. He also assured the State Legislative Council of taking ‘appropriate action’ in this regard before the beginning of the upcoming academic year and admissions process.

It is pertinent to note that the Shiv Sena was amongst the political parties who had vehemently opposed the reservations based on religion in Maharashtra but owing to the changing political dynamic, it appears to have acquiesced to the NCP-Congress demand of passing reservations for Muslims in education.

Interestingly, in 2018, it was the BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra that had ruled out the earlier ordinance passed by previous NCP-Congress government granting a 5 per cent reservations for Muslims on the grounds of Supreme Court and High Court rulings barring reservations based on religion. The Bombay high court, however, had allowed reservation in educational institutions for Muslims but dismissed reservations in jobs in 2014.

Read: Congress entered into an alliance with Shiv Sena after receiving approval from the Muslim community, admits Ashok Chavan

Slamming the BJP, Malik said that despite the Bombay High Court’s approval to grant reservations for Muslims in educational institutions, the saffron party did not bring an ordinance to accomplish it. The minister added that legal advice is being sought regarding reservations in jobs and a decision will be taken soon.

Despite the reservations in Maharashtra already breaching 70 per cent mark, the Thackeray government in the state is all poised to pass the quota for Muslims which was apparently also mentioned in the manifestos of NCP and the Congress party.

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