BJP MP Sambhaji Chhatrapati meets Sharad Pawar over Maratha quota issue

MUMBAI: BJP MP Sambhaji Chhatrapati on Thursday met NCP chief Sharad Pawar to discuss the Maratha reservation issue and urged him to take an initiative in the matter.

The Supreme Court recently struck down the Maharashtra law granting quota to the Maratha community in admissions and government jobs, by terming it as “unconstitutional”, and held that there were no exceptional circumstances to breach the 50 per cent reservation cap set by the 1992 Mandal verdict.

Speaking to reporters outside Pawar’s residence here, the Rajya Sabha MP said, “I have informed Pawar about the unrest and pain in the Maratha community and urged him to take an initiative in the matter.”

The BJP leader said he has asked the NCP chief to take Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis and other leaders on board and try to give justice to the community.

“Pawar listened to the issue carefully and has responded positively,” he said.

The BJP leader, who is a descendant of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, has been visiting parts of the state to discuss with locals from the community regarding the future course of action.

He on Wednesday said if the Uddhav government wants to give reservation under the EWS category, then it can do so by relaxing its conditions and need not go to the Centre for it.

The BJP MP also said if the state government wishes to give reservation under the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) category, then it has the right to relax its conditions.

“The Maharashtra government need not to go to the Centre for the same. The state should act on it,” the Rajya Sabha member said, adding that he will make his stand further clear over the issue on May 28.

The BJP leader also said if the government does not pay heed to the demands of Marathas, they may need to agitate.

“But in this COVID-19 pandemic time, we can’t let people die by coming out on roads. If we are safe, we can fight for the reservation later,” he said.

The Marathas had put forth their demands earlier and public representatives from the ruling as well as opposition parties in the state should take the responsibility to work for the community’s welfare, he added.