Maharashtra govt approves EWS benefits for Marathas

In a bid to provide respite to the Marathas amid the stalemate over the reservation in jobs and college admissions, the state cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal of extending the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) quota to the community.

The step has paved the way for the community’s members from the economically weaker sections, with the annual income of less than ₹8 lakh, to avail the benefit of the 10% EWS quota.

“Candidates availing the benefits under EWS, however, will not be allowed to avail the SEBC quota. The decision is subject to the final verdict of the Apex court in the petition pending before it. The decision of allowing the Maratha community members to avail the benefits under EWS quota has been taken in accordance with the observations by the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court,” the government resolution issued on Wednesday has stated.

Following the decision, the Maratha community members will be able to draw certificates to avail the benefit under EWS for college admissions and government jobs. The community members will however have to compete with people in the open category for the 10% quota as opposed to the 12% and 13% reservation they would have got under the SEBC Act in admissions and jobs respectively.

The community members have expressed their reservations over the decision.

“The decision could go against our contention of urgency in hearing the matter in the top court. We have been opposing this move since the beginning. Secondly, the SEBC reservation has just been stayed and not cancelled by the court. This means the community cannot avail second reservation when the one meant for them is still in force. Most importantly, the actual percentage of Marathas getting EWS quota will be far lesser as compared to SEBC, as we will be competing with people in open category,” said Virendra Pawar, one of the organisers of Maratha Kranti Morcha.

The constitution bench of five judges on December 9 had ruled to begin the regular hearing in the reservation petition from January 25.

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