State looking to woo Maratha voters by filling all 72,000 vacant posts per new quota

State looking to woo Maratha voters by filling all 72,000 vacant posts per new quota
Maharashtra government wants to complete the mega recruitment drive before the Lok Sabha code of conduct comes into effect and before a possible stay by the high court (Representational Image, Courtesy: CreditSmart.in)

The Maharashtra government has set up a dedicated ‘war room’ at the state secretariat complex in Mumbai to complete the mega recruitment process as per the new caste reservation quota.

An official said the government may complete the process of recruitment for all the 72,000 posts at one go before February, instead of filling 36,000 posts spread over two years.

The recruitment process had started earlier this year but was stalled after Maratha community staged state-wide protests demanding reservation in government jobs and education.

A bill that grants 16 percent reservation to the members of the Maratha community in Maharashtra was unanimously passed by both the Houses of the state legislature last week, meeting a long-pending demand of the influential community, which constitutes 33 percent of the state’s population of around 13 crore.

“The idea is to fill the posts before the Bombay High Court stays the decision. It will help the ruling party get Maratha votes in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls scheduled in 2019,” the government official said.

In the last budget session of the state legislature, Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced that 72,000 vacant posts will be filled in two phases.

The vacant posts to be filled are spread across departments like Agriculture, Public Health, Home, Animal Husbandry, Public Works Department, Water Resources, Water Conservation, Fisheries & Urban Development departments.

On Wednesday, the government set up a war room on the seventh floor of the state secretariat to handle the mega recruitment process smoothly. The first meeting of all the departments concerned was held there.

The senior official who attended the meeting said the government was keen on finishing the process of recruitment as soon as possible.

“The process of filling up of all 72,000 posts will be started now. It is scheduled to be completed before the Lok Sabha code of conduct comes into effect and before a possible stay by the high court,” he said.

The state may issue an order delegating the powers to fill few posts at the ground level by the district collector or tehsil to save time, he added.

Meanwhile, the state general administration department (GAD) Wednesday issued a government resolution stating that Marathas would be able to get 16 percent reservation in the remaining 48 percent posts in the open category and no share of 16 percent in 100 percent vacant posts.

“This means that Marathas would get only 8 percent reservation of the existing 52 percent reservation,” the official said.

The swift recruitment will also help alleviate the concerns of various employee organisations, who had urged the state to fill the posts at the earliest to improve the working conditions of the existing workforce.

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