Fadnavis talks sops for agitating Marathas
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday announced a slew of welfare measures for the Maratha community that has been agitating for months demanding reservations in jobs and education, but ruled out a review or dilution of the atrocities act — another of the community’s demands.
Replying to a debate in the state Assembly, Fadnavis blamed the Opposition for failing to ensure reservation for the community when it was in power. He insisted the state had presented evidence to the Bombay high court to support the cause of reservation, but also categorically ruled out any dilution of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
“Necessity of the law cannot be denied,” he said, and added that as there have been allegations of misuse of the atrocities act, a panel of legislators, with consists 40% from the SC and ST communities, will study these claims.
Fadnavis said the government will set up hostels for Maratha students in every district and an institute to conduct research in education and social issues for the welfare of Maratha youth.
To make agriculture profitable — 65% of the community still depend on it — the state will invest in mechanisation and schemes for farmers. “Our productivity is low, except for sugarcane. We will invest in infrastructure and mechanisation.” The Annasaheb Patil Corporation for Economically Backward has been given Rs200 crore to provide capital and skill to Maratha entrepreneurs.
The CM, however, ruled out reservations for the Muslim community, saying his government did not favour reservation on the basis of religion.