Mumbai: Even as the Maharashtra government is set to announce its decision on the Rane Committee`s recommendation for 20 per cent quota for Marathas, Congress MP Hussain Dalwai on Sunday made a strong pitch for reservation for Muslims in the state.
"It would be a blunder on the part of the Maharashtra government to provide reservation only to the Maratha community, while ignoring the demands of the Muslims. Financial and educational condition of the Muslim community is worse than that of the have-nots among the Marathas," Dalwai said in a press release here.
"Why can`t Muslims be given reservation if Marathas can be, even though Muslims are leading very precarious lives," he said.
The plight of the Muslims is so bad that 78 per cent child labour is from this community, the Rajya Sabha MP said.
"What is the percentage of Muslims in government jobs and what is the status of their education? Why are they harassed by police?" he asked.
Dalwai alleged that even though members of the Maratha community occupy 80-90 per cent political and financial power centres in the state, the marginal farmers, landless labourers, unorganised workers among the Maratha community have not benefited.
According to him it is the duty of the government to provide "special opportunities" to a community that is lagging behind in the society.
Congress-NCP government will take a decision next week on the Rane Committee`s recommendation for 20 per cent quota for Marathas in government jobs and educational institutions.
"We will make an announcement after June 20," Industry Minister Narayan Rane, who heads the special committee to study the socio-economic conditions of the Maratha community, told the Legislative Council two days back while replying to a discussion on the issue.