Mumbai: The Opposition on Thursday stalled the Maharashtra Legislative Council proceedings, accusing the state government of not being serious about giving reservation to Muslim community even as the latter maintained that it is 'very serious' on the issue.
The Opposition members stormed into the Well of the House and shouted slogans against the government, following which Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar adjourned the House for half-an-hour.
NCP MLC Abdullah Khan Durrani, during the Question Hour, asked if the Chief Minister had in December last year said that the government will take the opinion of the Advocate General and provide reservation to Muslims.
"Several committees that were formed to examine the socio-economic and educational status of Muslims have said that the condition of Muslims is bad. There are other states also that have given them reservation. How serious is this government on the issue?" Durrani asked.
In response, state Minorities Affairs Minister Eknath Khadse said the government is very serious on providing reservation to the Muslim community and that it has submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating its stand on the condition of Muslims.
"We have cited the reports of committees that have examined the status of Muslims and have stated that the educational status of the community is poor. We have also stated that the representation of Muslims in government services is poor. After stating all this, we will respect the decision of the courts," Khadse said.
Another MLC Kapil Patil questioned why the government scrapped the five per cent reservation for Muslims in education in spite of the High Court order.
In response, Khadse said all those children who had taken admissions before the Ordinance lapsed will be allowed admission in educational institutions.
NCP MLC Sunil Tatkare alleged that the government is misdirecting the people with his comments.
Khadse replied that Muslims were not given reservation in the last 65 years and today allegations are being levelled against the government.
This led to a commotion in the House with the Opposition storming into the Well of the House and shouting slogans against the government, which led to the Chairman adjourning the House for 30 minutes.
On June 25 last year, the then Congress-NCP government had approved a five per cent reservation for Muslims in jobs and government schools.
However, on November 14, 2014, the Bombay High Court had stayed the decision to provide reservation to Muslims in government service but it allowed quotas for them in educational institutions.
The state had challenged the Bombay High Court order in the Supreme Court, which refused to interfere with the interim decision of the High Court but asked the Maharashtra government to go back to the High Court on the issue.
On January 5 this year, the Bombay High Court gave three weeks to the state government to file an affidavit submitting data to justify its decision on the quota.
"An ordinance to this effect (providing a five per cent quota to Muslims) lapsed on December 23 last year. Considering this fact, the concerned government resolution issued last year is being scrapped," a Maharashtra government resolution had said on March 4, earlier this year.