Mumbai: “We fully support Maratha reservation. The government should take immediate action to guarantee Maratha reservation,” said Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President Ashok Chavan at Mumbai’s Tilak Bhavan.
Chavan dismissed the claim that Maratha reservation was delayed because the government was waiting for a report from the Backward Classes Commission. The government had unnecessarily delayed commissioning this report, he said.
“More than 40 people have lost their lives in this agitation. If the government had taken action earlier, these 40 lives could have been saved. There is no need to delay this decision further,” he added.
Speaking to reporters, Chavan said “The Congress had granted Maratha reservation in 2014 – but the BJP-Sena government failed to protect this reservation in court,”
“For past 4 years, various maratha organisations have consistently been putting forth demand for Maratha reservation,” he added.
“BJP-Sena government has lost all it’s credibility,” said Chavan while blaming the BJP-Sena government for delaying reservation for various communities, including Muslims, Dhangars, and Marathas.
“Our government granted Muslim reservation in 2014. The High Court also accepted this reservation. But the government refused reservation for the Muslim community. Similarly, CM Devendra Fadnavis promised to take decision of Dhangar reservation in his first cabinet meeting. But, even after 4 years, his government has not granted reservations to the Dhangar community,” said Chavan.
“We are awaiting the specific details of the report of the Backward Classes Commission from the Maharashtra government,” said Chavan.
Chavan was at Tilak Bhavan to chair the Congress’s review meetings for all 48 Lok Sabha seats.
“We are not taking any decisions on seat allocation today. That decision will be taken in the coming days. We are listening to the views of Congress party workers today,” said Chavan.
Asked on whether he would contest the Vidhan Sabha elections instead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, Chavan said that this was for the Congress party to decide.
“Congress must return to power in 2019. That is important. Whether I contest Lok Sabha or Vidhan Sabha is not important,” said Chavan.