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Maharashtra cabinet approves reservation for Maratha community

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Mumbai, Nov 17: Maharashtra government on Sunday approved reservation for Maratha community in educational institutions and government jobs. The decision, taken at the cabinet meeting is seen as a potential game-changer ahead of the state assembly elections next year.

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The government took the decision after studying the report that the State Backward Class Commission submitted on November 15.

"We received Backward Class Commission report with 3 recommendations... independent reservation will be given to Maratha community in SEBC," Fadnavis was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

"We have accepted the recommendations and constituted a Cabinet Sub-committee to take statutory steps for implementing them," he added.

The matter was handed over to the commission in June 2017 amid growing demands from the community for reservation. Members of the panel toured Maharashtra for more than 15 months, met about 2 lakh members of the Maratha community and surveyed 25,000 families.

Fadnavis had said on November 14 that his government would need 15 days to complete all the statutory requirements. The Maratha community has been protesting for reservation in jobs and education for more than a year.

The Maratha community in the state constitutes over 30 per cent of the state's population. Maratha groups had staged widespread agitation for quota in July and August this year.

In July, Maharashtra government had assured 16 per cent reservation for the Marathas in 72,000 government jobs, which was later stayed following protests.

In 2014, the ruling Congress-NCP government had granted 16 per cent reservation for the Marathas and five per cent quota for the Muslim community just before the elections. However, the reservation was stayed by the Bombay High Court.

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