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Legislators from Maharashtra's BJP protest over Maratha quota in State

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Google Oneindia News

Mumbai, Dec 14: Legislators of the Opposition BJP squatted on the stairs of the Vidhan Bhavan building on Monday to protest against the Maharashtra government's "lackadaisical attitude" towards the Maratha quota and farmers' issues.

BJP

The protest was held before commencement of the two- day winter session of the state Legislature. The Supreme Court in September this year stayed the implementation of 2018 Maharashtra law granting reservation to Marathas in education and jobs, but made it clear that the status of those who have availed of the benefits will not be disturbed.

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BJP leader and former state minister Ashish Shelar told reporters outside the Vidhan Bhavan that during one hearing in the Supreme Court on the Maratha quota case, the government's lawyer was not present.

"Why did the government fall short of convincing the court (about vacating stay on the quota)?" he asked. Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Devendra Fadnavis said the "government was running away from debate".

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In the two-day session, 10 bills are listed, which means the government doesn't want debate, he said. However, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar hit out at the BJPfor taking up theseissues "in desperation". "The government is doing its best to get the Supreme Court's stay on the Maratha quota vacated.

The opposition is desperate due to the stinging loss in the just-concluded Legislative Council elections," Pawar told reporters. State Public Works Department Minister Ashok Chavan also hit out at the opposition for resorting to "political gimmicks".

"When Fadnavis was the chief minister, the Maratha quota bill was passed unanimously. Fadnavis had said the bill would pass through all legal processes," Chavan added.

The two-day brief session, curtailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is being held against the backdrop of the MVA government completing a year in office and its encouraging performance in the just held polls to half-a-dozen seats of the Legislative Council (one of them bypoll).

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