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    Maharashtra Govt scraps 5% job quota for Muslims; Opposition protest move


    The Maharashtra government has scrapped an ordinance to provide five per cent job quota for Muslims in the state. A Government Resolution issued by Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP-Sena government yesterday nullified the previous notification issued by the NCP-Congress government granting five per cent reservation to Muslims. The government resolution said an ordinance to provide a five per cent job quota had lapsed on December 23 last year. The resolution issued by the State Minority Affairs Department means that the quota for Muslims in both jobs and education has been scrapped.

    In June last year, Maharashtra's earlier Congress-NCP government had approved a 16 per cent reservation for Marathas and a five per cent for Muslims just ahead of the October 15 Assembly polls. The quota had been given through two separate categories, namely the Educationally and Socially Backward Category (ESBC) for Marathas, as well as a Special Backward Class (Muslims) segment for the Muslims.

    Opposition parties in Maharashtra, the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), NGOs and Muslim organisations have reacted sharply to scrapping of Muslim reservation in jobs and educational institutions. Most are of the opinion that BJP-led Maharashtra Government’s move is clearly anti-Muslim and communal. They have threatened to launch a state-wide demonstrations against the BJP-led government's decision. Both, congress and NCP have said they will grill the government in the state legislature during the budget session, which will start from March 9.

    The newly appointed Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee President Ashok Chavan held a meeting with the senior party leaders in Mumbai this morning and condemned BJP government's decision. Former minister for Minorities Welfare Naseem Khan blamed the BJP government for being communal. Congress MP and Maulana Azad Vichar Manch president Hussian Dailwai said the quota was quite essential for the upliftment of the community. Muslims constitute 11.8% of the state population and the condition of those below poverty line is bad. The community members need to be brought to the mainstream. He added that a signature campaign to press for quota will be soon be launched.

    NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said the decision shows their prejudiced mentality and that their agenda was apparent now. Jamiat Ulama-e-Maharashtra president Maulana Mustakim Azmi too said the government's decision will again push the Muslim community backwards considering there are hardly any opportunities in jobs.

    Reacting to the outrage, the State Minority Affairs Minister Eknath Khadse said the government would protect all those who have got admissions in educational institutions and jobs under the same quota. Ruling alliance partner Shiv Sena has supported the move.


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