Opposition Congress and NCP on Tuesday alleged that the Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra government was keeping even senior ministers in the dark about the contents of the State Backward Class Commission (SBCC) report recommending quota for the Maratha community.
Criticising the government for not tabling the report in the state Legislative Assembly, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and NCP leader Ajit Pawar said the BJP-led dispensation was “under depression” over the issue.
Earlier in the day, the Maharashtra Assembly was adjourned twice over the issue of tabling in the SBCC report in the House.
Talking to reporters here, Vikhe Patil and Pawar justified their demand that the SBCC report regarding Maratha quota be tabled in the House. Both the opposition parties have been demanding since last week that the report be tabled in the Legislature.
“The government plans to have a budget session in February before the code of conduct comes into force for the Lok Sabha polls. Immediately after the Lok Sabha elections, there would be a code of conduct for the Assembly polls. We want the Maratha quota law to be discussed and implemented so that it is not challenged in the court,” Vikhe Patil said.
Pawar wondered why Fadnavis was angry when the opposition persisted with its demand that the report be tabled in the House.
“He (Fadnavis) has accused us of being a roadblock in the implementation of the quota. Why would we do that? We had introduced 16 per cent quota for Marathas in education and jobs. But unfortunately, it did not stand in the court,” he added.
Pawar said that Fadnavis claimed in the Lower House that his government has provided educational benefits to backward class Muslims, like 50 per cent fees in professional courses being paid by the government.
“But such schemes are only on paper and not seen on the field,” he said.
Vikhe Patil and Pawar claimed that even the senior ministers have been kept in the dark about the contents of the SBCC report.
“What is Fadnavis trying to do by hiding the report from his ministers?” they asked.
The government had received the report on November 15 and it was placed before the Cabinet on November 18.
The Maratha community, which constitutes over 30 per cent of the state’s population, has been demanding a quota for a long time and its agitation for the same in July and August this year had taken a violent turn.