Mumbai: The Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra is against Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and is delaying implementation of an Act enabling reservation to OBC
candidates in promotions, according to Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Eknath Khadse.
The Act was passed in 2004 by the state but the government has failed to implement it while giving promotions to the OBC candidates, Khadse said. Almost 25 per cent state
government staff are OBCs, he added.
He pointed out to remarks by some IAS officials, saying promotions in government jobs on the basis of the caste are unconstitutional despite the Act being in force in the state.
There have been several debates in the legislature on the issue during last 10 years, Khadse said. "Every time, the state government assured the Legislature that it would
implement the Act during promotions of OBCs but failed to do so," he said.
"Now the government says that the state advocate general and law and judiciary department secretary are against reservation for OBCs. I would like to know whose views matter. That of advocate general and law and judiciary secretary, or those of Legislature," Khadse said.
Actually, it is mandatory for the state government to implement an Act which is passed in Legislature but these officials are giving adverse opinion to ensure OBCs are kept
away from the ambit of reservations, the BJP leader said.
In states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal, backward classes get between 65 to 70 percent reservation, Khadse said.
"The Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra has started the unconstitutional practise of seeking opinion of state advocate general and law and judiciary department
secretary, despite the Act being passed in Legislature and despite it getting President`s assent," he said.
During the monsoon session of state legislature, Opposition Shiv Sena, BJP and MNS MLAs staged a walkout, demanding immediate implementation of the Act, Khadse said.
Alleging that some vested interests in the state government are denying the around five crore OBCs in Maharashtra from benefits under the Act, the senior BJP leader
said the issue would be raised in the winter session of state legislature, beginning at Nagpur in December.
Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Shivajirao Moghe said, "The government is clear that the OBCs should get reservation in promotion and will ensure to remove the hurdles
in implementing the Act."
"The OBC students are getting 100 percent scholarship since 2002 and Rs 560 crore has been distributed in the year 2009-10," he said, adding over 16 lakh students have benefited from the scholarships, he added.