Mumbai (Maharashtra): The Maharashtra government on Tuesday approved a bill, extending reservation to Marathas above the 50 per cent mark in a special session of the state legislature.

The bill for 10 per cent Maratha quota that the Mahayuti government of Eknath Shinde has approved on Tuesday is similar to the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018, introduced by the then Devendra Fadnavis government.

This is the third time in a decade that the state has introduced legislation for the Maratha quota.

The decision to convene a special session was prompted by Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange Patil, who is on a hunger strike at Antarwali Saarati village in Jalna district.

The reservation has been extended based on a report submitted to the state government by the Maharashtra Backward Class Commission (MBCC) headed by chairman Justice (Retired) Sunil Shukre.

The state already has a 10 per cent quota for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) in which the Marathas are the biggest beneficiaries, claiming 85 per cent of the reservation.

The Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission on Friday submitted a report on the social and educational backwardness of the Maratha community for which it had undertaken a survey of around 2.5 crore homes within a span of only nine days.

The committee proposed a 10 per cent reservation for Marathas in education and jobs, similar to that given in 2018 by the then-state government.

In June 2017, the then Devendra Fadnavis government had constituted the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC) headed by Justice (retired) MG Gaikwad to study the social, financial and educational status of the Maratha community.

The Commission submitted its report in November 2018, classifying Marathas as a socially and educationally backward class (SEBC).

Notably, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde stressed on Friday that reservation to Marathas will be given according to the terms of the law after presenting the report in during the special assembly session called for Tuesday.

By bemaad

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