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NCP bats for reservation for Muslim community in education in Maharashtra

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Shillong, June 12: After a dismal performance in the Lok Sabha elections, the Ajit Pawar-led NCP on Wednesday strongly supported reservation for the Muslim community in education in Maharashtra.

 

This is a fresh attempt by the NCP, which won just one of the four Lok Sabha seats it contested, to step up its outreach with the Muslim community and garner their votes in the forthcoming Assembly elections slated for September-October this year.

 

The NCP is a part of the Mahayuti government and the party plans to make a pitch with the BJP and Shiv Sena for providing educational quota to the Muslim community, which along with Dalits and Tribals voted against the Mahayuti.

 

They feared that their existence would come into jeopardy if the Constitution was changed by the BJP after crossing the 400-seat mark and forming the government at the Centre.

 

The NCP will have to make a hard bargain with big brother BJP which did not take the initiative during its rule for the implementation of reservation in educational institutions upheld by the Bombay High Court.

 

Maharashtra NCP chief spokesman Umesh Patil said, “We stand firm on our position that the Muslim community should get reservation in education in the state.

 

“The Bombay High Court accepted the decision taken by the Congress-NCP government of giving 5 per cent educational reservation to the Muslim community. However, later, the issue was pushed behind.”

 

However, newly-elected MP from Raigad, Sunil Tatkare said, “We held a meeting of the party’s Minority Cell yesterday and have heard their side. Another meeting will be held on this issue. After that we will declare our position on it.”

 

The NCP’s move is crucial after party legislators at their meeting with Ajit Pawar last week submitted that the party lost heavily in Osmanabad, Baramati and Shirur after Muslim voters by and large voted for the Maha Vikas Aghadi candidates.

 

They further pointed out that the Mahayuti in general was hit after Muslims, Dalits and Tribals polled against its candidates fearing loss in their reservation after change in the Constitution. (IANS)

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