Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and public works department minister Ashok Chavan met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday and discussed various issues, including reservation for Maratha and Other Backward Classes, the nomination of 12 members to legislative council, release of GST compensation dues.
The delegation met the Modi for over one-and-a-half hour at the latter’s official Delhi residence. The most important issue raised during the meeting was political reservation for the Maratha community and Other Backward Classes. The state government has requested the Centre to accord reservation to Marathas from the Central quota and remove the 50% ceiling on reservation.
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“The Centre has already filed a review petition in the Maratha reservation ruling, challenging the apex court’s ruling that state governments do not have powers to decide the backwardness of any community after the 102nd constitutional amendment. We requested the Centre that empowering the states with the powers to decide the reservation will not be sufficient until the cap of 50% on the reservation is removed. We have requested the Centre to take legal steps to remove the cap, as it has affected not only Maratha reservations, but many others, including political reservation to OBCs,” Thackeray said, while addressing the media at Maharashtra Sadan after the meeting.
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said that the state has demanded constitutional political reservation to OBCs. “The political reservation in the local body elections to the OBCs has been struck down recently by the Supreme Court. It was the statutory reservation and has been quashed as it was surpassing the 50% cap. The verdict will impact in all elections across the country. We have requested the Prime Minister to accord constitutional reservation to OBCs,” Pawar said.
Pawar said that the delegation also requested that the governor of Maharashtra be instructed to nominate 12 members to the legislative council from his quota. “The names were submitted to the governor around eight months ago. Taking note of a PIL, the high court has asked for a submission. We have requested the PM to instruct the governor for the nominations. We have also requested the PM for the quick release ₹24,306 crore due towards the compensation of losses of GST to the state exchequer,” Pawar said .
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the Prime Minister has assured the delegation he will consider the issues raised by them. “He said he will take detailed information on each of the issues and take positive steps,” Thackeray said.
After the meeting with the delegation, PM Modi met Thackeray in a one-on-one meeting for around 30 minutes. “Yes, we had a separate meeting. We may not be politically together, but that does not mean that we have snapped our relationship. I did not go to meet Nawaz Sharif,” Thackeray said.