‘WHY DIS­CUSS, JUST SPEED UP RESER­VA­TION PROCESS’

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

MUM­BAI: Turn­ing down the idea of spe­cial ses­sion to dis­cuss Maratha reser­va­tion mooted by the Shiv Sena, the Sharad Pawar-led Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party (NCP) said there was noth­ing left to dis­cuss and the govern­ment should ex­pe­dite the process.

NCP lead­ers said the le­gal ground­work for reser­va­tion was ready with the govern­ment and the de­ci­sion could be taken on the lines of Tamil Nadu, which has caste-based reser­va­tion up to 69%.

Se­nior NCP leader Ajit Pawar said the state must ac­cept the de­mands as they (erst­while Congress-ncp govern­ment) had done all prepa­ra­tions in the past, based on which 16% reser­va­tion was given to the com­mu­nity.

“Noth­ing has been left for de­lib­er­a­tion. Their de­mand is reser­va­tion, mea­sures to stop mis­use of Pre­ven­tion of Atroc­i­ties Act and jus­tice for the Kopardi rape vic­tim. Why has no charge sheet been filed in the case even af­ter so many days,” Pawar asked.

Pawar, who be­longs to the com­mu­nity, de­nied that the protest was against any com­mu­nity and said the com­mu­nity wants no re­peat of Kopardi case any­where in the state.

“The Kopardi in­ci­dent should be treated like the Nirb­haya rape case, where no­body asked about the vic­tim’s caste or com­mu­nity,” the NCP leader said.

The for­mer deputy CM also tar­geted the Sena for al­leged in­sult of the Maratha com­mu­nity by pub­lish­ing a con­tro­ver­sial car­toon in the party mouth­piece Saa­mana.

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