After Maratha reservation, AIMIM to approach Bombay HC to seek quota for Muslims in Maharashtra
The All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen (AIMIM) on Friday approached the Bombay High Court to demand reservation for Muslims in Maharashtra, a day after the state legislature passed the ‘Maratha Reservation Bill’ under the Socially and Economically Backward category (SEBC).
“We won’t challenge it (Maratha reservation) but will go to the court with new facts for Muslim reservation,” AIMIM’s Imtiyaz Jaleel told ANI.
Jaleel also told a leading news channel that Muslims were eligible for the reservation on the same grounds as Marathas.
“Do they think Muslims live in palaces or mansions? If Marathas are given reservation, Muslims should be given reservation too. What are the criteria on which Marathas have been given reservation? That 93 per cent of them have income below 1 lakh? That is ridiculous,” he said.
In a separate interaction with the media, Congress leader Naseem Khan clarified that the demand for Muslim reservation wasn’t a new one.
“This is not a new demand. We have been demanding that the government should restore the 5 percent reservation given to Muslims in 2014,” he was quoted as saying.
The decision to move court was reportedly taken after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis rejected the demand for Muslim reservation, raised by two MLAs (one each from Congress & AIMIM) in the state assembly yesterday, on the grounds that ‘there could be no quota on the basis of religion’.
The CM advised them to approach the state backward class commission with their demand.
While introducing the bill in the lower house, Fadnavis said had said that reservation for the Maratha community in government jobs and admission in public sector academic institutions would not have any adverse impact on the state’s existing quota policy.
Lashing out at the opposition over the reservation issue, the CM asked why the previous government did not give scholarships to Muslim students.
“The opposition is dividing the people and they are doing politics on the reservation. They are talking about Muslim reservation for the sake of vote bank politics,” he claimed.
In a historic move, the Maharashtra legislature had unanimously passed a ‘Maratha Reservation Bill’ yesterday, giving 16 percent reservation to the Marathas.
According to the Bill, the government will give separate reservation to Maratha community people under the category called Socially and Economically Backward Class (or SEBC) as per the recommendation of the Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission.