Maharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil on Thursday said the bill providing for reservation to the Maratha community will be introduced in the state assembly before the end of the Winter session.
The state’s legislature session is scheduled to conclude tomorrow.
Patil also informed the state assembly that the action taken report (ATR) on the State Backward Class Commission’s recommendations for Maratha quota will be tabled in the House Thursday.
The state Legislature’s Winter session, which is scheduled to conclude tomorrow, may be extended, “if needed”, he said.
Soon after the House assembled for the day and Speaker Haribhau Bagde called for the Question Hour, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar questioned why the Maratha quota Bill was not listed in the day’s business, as promised.
“What is it that the government wants to hide? Tomorrow is the last day of the Winter session. The opposition members want to discuss the quota issue,” Vikhe Patil said.
Pawar said since the previous Congress-NCP government had introduced the Bill, “we have experience about what could have gone wrong that the (high) court stayed our decision.”
“We can give valuable suggestions to ensure the new bill is watertight,” he said.
Responding to Opposition leaders, Patil said, “We will table the ATR today and the Bill will be introduced and passed before the end of the session. If needed, the Winter session will be extended.”
After the Question Hour, the tabling of ATR on the State Backward Class Commission’s recommendations was listed in the day’s agenda but there was no mention of the Bill.
The government had earlier said that the Bill pertaining to Maratha quota would be introduced in the state Legislature on November 29.
A Cabinet sub-committee chaired by Patil has been holding marathon meetings to prepare the draft Bill.
The Maratha community, which constitutes over 30 per cent of the state’s population, has been demanding reservation in government jobs and education for a long time.
The community’s agitation for the same in July and August this year had taken a violent turn.