As the Maratha reservation row is flaring up in Maharashtra, the Opposition Congress said it would bring a no-confidence motion against the Devendra Fadnavis government for “lying” on filing an affidavit in the High Court which is hearing the case. The party said it would also go for a breach of privilege motion in the legislative council.
While staying the previous NCP-Congress government's ordinance to give 16 per cent reservation to the Maratha community and an act passed by it in this regard on November 14, 2014, the Bombay High Court had asked the government to submit certain details in an affidavit.
In the meantime, Vinod Patil, an intervener filed an special leave petition in the Supreme Court requesting it to expedite the case. The apex court gave directions to the High Court. However, the state government has sought time to file its affidavit. The High Court has given an ultimatum to the government and asked it to file the affidavit by December 7.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had recently said that the government had not asked for time and that the case was delayed because the intervener had sought time for his affidavit.
Former chief minister Narayan Rane, however, accused Fadnavis of lying and cheating the entire state. In a press conference, he showed the copy of the High Court order where the court has clearly mentioned that, “The learned senior counsels appearing for the State seek further time on the grounds that the State is in the process of collecting further data on the basis of which the State intends to file additional affidavit. It is therefore, requested that the matter be adjourned for a longer period after Diwali vacation.”
Rane said, “The chief minister has lied and has cheated the entire state by saying that the government has not asked for time. His government has not filed an affidavit in two years and is not serious about such an important issue.” He further said, “We will bring a no-confidence motion in the forthcoming winter session of the assembly and will also go for a breach of privilege motion in the legislative council.” He added that the state did not deserve a liar as its chief minister and the only option available for Fadnavis is to resign.
The previous government had appointed a committee under Rane to study and conduct a survey about the social, educational and economically backward status of the community. “We did a survey of over 18 lakh Marathas and found 83 per cent of them to be backward and poor. Almost 85 per cent of the nearly twenty thousand farmers who committed suicides belonged to Maratha community,” Rane said.
Maratha community comprises 34 per cent of the state's population. The Rane committee recommended a reservation of 16 per cent to them in education and jobs. “We recommended it after taking legal opinion from many legal and constitution experts. Our government issued an ordinance as per the article 15/4 and 16/4 of the Constitution to give 16 per cent reservation for the Maratha community,” Rane said.