Maharashtra Government recently announced 16% reservations for Marathas and 5% for Muslims ahead of the assembly elections.
BoomNew’s show #IndiaHangout discussed the issue with senior journalists Kumar Ketkar and Prakash Bal and Dinesh Shinde, general secretary, Thane unit of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), an ally of the Congress Government in Maharashtra.
Ketkar was of the opinion that reservations are still necessary to overcome discrimination. “Income alone cannot determine social status. If you are a Dalit, you are still not part of the mainstream.’
Bal felt that the move is mere tokenism aimed at garnering votes. “Reservation must be there only for SCs/STs and OBCs. Why must Marathas get reservation in Maharashtra?”
Shinde felt that the move, though delayed, would help both the communities.
Ketkar brought up another angle: “why do they not get any reservations in the co-operative sector in Maharashtra? Since you are losing elections, you want to garner votes by announcing reservations. Government jobs are going to be reduced, so how will more reservation help?”