Oppn stays away from all-party meeting on reservation issue in Maharashtra

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Mumbai, Jul 9 (PTI) The opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) stayed away from an all-party meeting on the reservation issue convened by the Maharashtra government on Tuesday evening amid the ongoing agitation by the Maratha community for quota under the OBC category.

The meeting was called at a time when the state legislature is having its monsoon session in Mumbai and came ahead of the assembly polls which are due in October.

Earlier in the day, Leader of Opposition in the legislative assembly Vijay Wadettiwar of the Congress said the MVA will not attend the all-party meeting on the reservation issue as the government did not take the opposition into confidence over the matter.

Speaking in the assembly, Wadettiwar said the people of the state need to know what discussions Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CMs Ajit Pawar and Devendra Fadnavis have had so far on the quota issue.

"What have they discussed and what have they promised (to agitators). They should explain in the assembly. There is a stand off between two communities (OBC and Marathas) and the government should give justice to both. We are not going to the meeting. The government must make its stand clear in the legislature," he demanded.

In February, the Shiv Sena-BJP-NCP government enacted a law to grant 10 per cent reservation in education and jobs to the Maratha community under a separate category. However, Maratha community members, led by activist Manoj Jarange, are demanding quota under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category and not separate.

On the other hand, OBC leaders have launched a campaign to safeguard the 27 per cent quota granted to community members in education and government jobs. PTI MR RSY