The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Maharashtra government’s law granting reservation benefits to the Maratha community has stirred up the hornet’s nest among the community and has put the Uddhav Thackeray government in a tight spot.

Various Maratha organisations are gearing up for agitations and blamed the State government for failing to present the case before the Apex Court. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray issued a statement saying that the verdict was unfortunate. BJP leaders castigated Thackeray for “failing” to protect the reservation.

Thackeray’s request

“A request with folded hands to Prime Minister and President to take an immediate decision about Maratha reservation. Earlier the Centre has shown its adoration for justice by making decisions on Shah Bano case, Atrocity Act and Article 370. The Constitution was amended and same should be done for Maratha reservation” said Thackeray. He warned against attempts to fuel the fire and said that the State government was ready to fight legal battle till the Maratha community gets the reservation.

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It also declined to revisit its 1992 Indira Sawhney judgment, which fixed the reservation limit at 50 per cent.

However, former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that for the last 50 years the Congress and alliance partners were not able to give reservation to the Maratha community. “The BJP government gave the reservation and the (Thackeray) government murdered it so that BJP must not get any credit” said Fadnavis. He alleged that Uddhav Thackeray led government was not serious about presenting the case for reservation in the SC.

‘Keep patience’

Chhatrapati Shivaji’s descendant and Rajya Sabha member Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati said that the Fadnavis and Thackeray led governments had put in sincere efforts for reservation. He appealed Maratha community to keep calm and not arrange agitations. “The Covid-19 situation is grave and we have to keep patience,” he said.

BJP and Uddhav Thackeray led government continued allegations and counter-allegations, as the Maratha community in the State is agitated.

“ The Maratha community which is the major community in the State needs reservation as the majority of poor Maratha farmers are suffering. No political party is really interested to protect our interests” said Vikram Chavan, a Maratha youth.