The Centre should lift the 50 per cent cap on reservations to ensure that the Maratha quota is restored, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday. Later in the night, the chief minister discussed the reservation ceiling issue with leaders of Shiv Sena, Congress, NCP in Parliament virtually.
In a statement, the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said the Centre should move a resolution relaxing the 50 per cent cap on reservations along with a motion to restore the rights of states to provide reservations to different communities.
Earlier, addressing people of the state via a live webcast, the chief minister said that without such relaxation, permitting states to prepare their list of OBCs (Other Backward Classes) and providing reservations will not help.
"When I met prime minister Narendra Modi in Delhi (in June), I told him that since the Supreme Court has quashed the Maratha quota and ruled that states had no right to provide reservations, the Central government should take the initiative (to relax the 50% reservation ceiling). Now that the Centre has given the right (to prepare OBC lists) to states, it should relax the 50 per cent cap (on reservations).
I hope the prime minister would do so," he said.
Thackeray said the empirical OBC data and amending the NDRF norms were the two other demands he raised with the PM.
"My government is committed to finding permanent solutions to flooding, cyclones and landslides which have become a permanent feature triggering floods and causing loss to life and property," he added.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday night virtually met leaders of Congress, Shiv Sena and NCP in Parliament to apprise them of the state's point of view. Apart from relaxing the reservation cap, the parties should also demand a debate on the issue, the statement said, adding the state government was pursuing the matter.
State PWD Minister Ashok Chavan, who heads the cabinet sub-committee on the Maratha quota, had written to all MPs from Maharashtra on July 24 to pursue the demand of lifting the ceiling with the Central government and in Parliament.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Chavan, P Chidambaram, Abhishek Manu Singhvi (all Congress), Shiv Sena MPs Arvind Sawant and Sanjay Raut, NCP MPs Praful Patel and Supriya Sule, Maharashtra advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhkoni and state Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte participated in the meeting, the statement said.
Sources said in Delhi on Wednesday the Union Cabinet is learnt to have cleared a Constitution amendment bill that seeks to give power to states and UTs to make their own OBC lists. The bill will now be introduced in Parliament for passage, they had said.
The Supreme Court had dismissed the Centre's plea seeking review of the May 5 majority verdict which held that the 102nd constitution amendment took away the states' powers to declare socially and educationally backward classes (SEBC) for grant of quota in jobs and admissions.
The Maharashtra government had granted the reservation to the Marathas in jobs and education under the SEBC category.
On May 5, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court had unanimously set aside the quota for Marathas and refused to refer the 1992 Mandal verdict putting a cap of 50 per cent on reservations to a larger bench.