As members of the Maratha community are set to hold a ‘jail bharo’ protest in Mumbai on Wednesday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the state government is working on the demands for reservations to the Maratha community, but that the legal process could not be curtailed. The decision cannot be taken only on the basis of sentiments, said the chief minister while addressing a book release function of Chhatrapati Rajaram, King Shivaji's descendant in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, Maratha organisations have decided to go ahead with their 'jail bharo' agitation. Security across the state has been tightened in view of the violence that region has witnessed in the past few days. Fadnavis has described as lamentable, the incidents of violence and alleged suicides for the quota demand reported during the ongoing agitation by Maratha organisations in the last few days.
11:05 am: Maratha protesters block Pune-Solapur highway resulting in massive jam. Police have arrived at the spot.
CM Fadnavis had earlier said that the BJP-led government in the state enacted a law to provide reservation in jobs and education to the community within a year of coming to power. "But the High Court stayed the decision and the Supreme Court upheld the high court order. There is a 1992 Supreme Court judgment that reservations should not exceed 50 per cent. To increase them (beyond 50 per cent) there should be extraordinary circumstances and these (circumstances) must be put forth through the State Backward Class Commission (before the court)," Fadnavis pointed out.
People need to understand that to ensure that reservations stand legal scrutiny, the 1992 Supreme Court judgment must be followed, the chief minister said. "We have to give reservations to the Marathas without tampering with the SC-ST-OBC quota. "We are being asked to issue an ordinance. It can be done, but it will not stand (scrutiny) in the court. Do we want to fool people or grant reservations genuinely?" Fadnavis said.