A delegation of the Shiv Sena (UBT) met President Droupadi Murmu on Saturday and urged her to look into their demand to increase the quota limit in Maharashtra which it said was the only solution to the ongoing reservation agitation by the Maratha community.
Sena MPs and leaders like Sanjay Raut, Vinayak Raut, Arvind Sawant, Rajan Vichare, Sanjay Jadhav, Omraje Nimbalkar, Priyanka Chaturvedi, Ambadas Danve, Anil Parab, Sunil Prabhu, and Ajay Chaudhary were a part of the delegation that met President Murmu.
“During our discussion with the President, we urged the President to convene a special session of Parliament to discuss the issue of reservation. And it should be convened at the earliest so that things do not go out of hand. Currently, Maharashtra is going through turmoil and there is a need for urgent measures to increase public confidence,” Raut, spokesperson of the Uddhav Sena, told The Indian Express on Sunday.
“We told the President that the raging reservation controversy cannot be resolved unless the quota limit is increased to accommodate the demand from different communities,” said Raut.
The senior Uddhav Sena leader said they placed the demands being made by the Maratha and Dhangar communities before President Murmu. “We told the President that in Maharashtra, on the one hand, farmer suicides are increasing and on the other hand, the youth is hit hard due to growing unemployment. Be it farmers or the youth, everyone is battling for survival. The caste-based reservation has assumed dangerous proportions… We placed the facts before the President,” he added.
“The President heard us patiently for nearly 45 minutes. She promised to look into our demands. We are confident she will keep her word,” Raut said.
Raut said the reservation issue is not in the hands of the state government and it is only the Central Government whose initiative will help in resolving it.
“The state legislature can pass a resolution for granting reservation. But a law is required on this front. There is a need for a constitutional amendment to increase the quota limit. How much the quota limit should be increased can be debated in Parliament first and then a decision can be taken on it. Increasing the quota limit at this juncture seems to be the only solution to the reservation row,” he said.
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Raut said as per the Constitution, no state can increase the quota beyond 50 per cent. “State governments have no right to increase the quota. Only Parliament has the right to do so. Therefore, a constitution amendment bill needs to be brought forth to increase the quota limit,” he said.
Raut said in Maharashtra, the Maratha and Dhangar communities have hit the streets demanding reservation. “The OBC communities have warned that their quota should not be affected if other communities are included in the OBC category. If the Maratha and Dhangar communities are given reservation without affecting other castes in the OBC category, only then the problem can be resolved,” said Raut.
“But this problem does not look that simple. The solution seems to be in increasing the quota limit to accommodate the demand from Maratha and Dhangar communities,” he said.