Congress leader Arif Naseem Khan on Monday asked the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to “come clean” on his stand on reservations for Muslims, warning of agitation similar to that of the Maratha community.
The Maratha community has been taking out huge ‘silent marches’ across the state to press its demands including reservations in jobs and education.
“Prime Minister says Muslims should not be treated as vote banks, while his CM in Maharashtra deliberately lets the ordinance which provided 5 per cent quota to Muslims in education lapse,” the former Minority Affairs Minister said.
The then Congress-led Government had decided to provide reservations to the Muslims not on religious ground but taking into account their social and economic backwardness, he said.
“Even the HC found our decision on quota for education fair. This decision was taken after Sachar and Mehmood-ur-Rehman committees said the condition of Muslims is worse than that of SC/STs,” Khan said.
Had Fadnavis wanted, he could have lawfully implemented the reservations for Muslims, he claimed.
“After the HC gave go-ahead, they had no reason to let the ordinance lapse. But this was deliberately done as they seem to be basically against the Muslim community,” he said.
“If the government does not reissue the ordinance and table a bill in the winter session, we will be forced to agitate like the (Maratha) agitation they are witnessing today,” he said.
Maharashtra Samajwadi Party president Abu Asim Azmi said he had called a meeting of all Muslim leaders including legislators across the party lines on quota issue.
“If Marathas are protesting for their right of reservation, it is time for the Muslim community to unite and put pressure on the BJP government to ensure that the community gets reservation as well prominent professionals and political leaders will meet and decide the further course of action,” Azmi said.