The Maharashtra Assembly was adjourned twice on Tuesday over the issue of tabling in the House of the State Backward Class Commission’s report recommending quota for the Maratha community.
The Opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have been demanding since last week that the report be tabled in the Legislature.
As soon as Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde called for the Question Hour on Tuesday, Congress’ Deputy Leader in the House Vijay Waddetiwar requested that the House be adjourned for 10 minutes since a meeting of group leaders of various parties was underway in the Legislature premises.
Bagde then adjourned the Lower House for 10 minutes.
Later, when the House reassembled, presiding officer Subhash Sabne adjourned it till 12.15 pm.
Before Sabne entered the Assembly to announce the second adjournment, Waddetiwar came in and asked all the opposition members to come out of the House.
Earlier, an opposition leader said outside the Assembly that the state government had refused to table the report in the House.
“We were told that a bill would be tabled in both Houses of the Legislature which should be passed without discussion,” he said, on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, the Congress and NCP leaders were holding a meeting in the legislature party office of the Congress to decide their future course of action.
Notably, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil, who heads the Cabinet sub-committee on the Maratha quota issue, had told reporters on Monday that the government will introduce a bill on Thursday to provide reservation to Marathas under the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC) category before the end of the Legislature’s winter session.
The state Legislature’s winter session concludes on Friday.
Patil had said the Cabinet sub-committee was holding marathon meetings to ensure that the law to provide reservation to Marathas was scientific and within the legal and constitutional framework.
Even after the law is passed, the facilities provided to the Maratha community for employment and educational purpose since the last two years would stay, he said.
On whether the quota would be more or less than 16 per cent, as was given by the previous government but did not stand in court, Patil had said that the percentage was being worked out.
The Cabinet sub-committee was formed last week to study the State Backward Class Commission’s report on reservation for Marathas and take a decision on it.
The government had received the report on November 15 and it was placed before the Cabinet on November 18.
The commission’s recommendations were approved by the Cabinet and it was decided to form a sub-committee for further process.