Explained: As Uddhav Thackeray Meets PM Modi To Discuss Maratha Reservation, Here Is A Timeline Of Important Events

Explained: As Uddhav Thackeray Meets PM Modi To Discuss Maratha Reservation, Here Is A Timeline Of Important EventsProtests demanding Maratha reservations. (Pratik Chorge/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will today meet Prime Minister Modi to discuss Maratha reservation, among other issues.

“A delegation of Maharashtra government led by CM Uddhav Thackeray and deputy CM Ajit Pawar will meet PM Modi in Delhi. They will discuss issues like Maratha reservation, OBC reservation and cyclone relief,” state home minister Dilip Patil was quoted as saying by ANI.

Last month, after the Supreme Court struck down the state Maratha reservation law, Thackeray had written to PM Modi, urging him to include the community in the list of socially and educationally backward classes.

Also read: Explained: Supreme Court judgement that only Centre, not States, can grant backward class status to groups

A five-judge constitution bench said in its judgment that Maratha reservation exceeded the 50 per cent cap and that the people from the Maratha community cannot be declared as educationally and socially backward.

Last week, Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece Saamana said in an editorial that “the battle for Maratha reservation will be fought in Delhi.”

"The collision will prove to be decisive. To destabilise the politics of Maharashtra, the opposition will use the issue of the Maratha reservation as a weapon, then they will have to stop it in time," it said.

Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati announced that a statewide agitation on the issue will be launched on 16 June from the memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji in Kolhapur.

As the political battle continues on the Maratha reservation – a demand raised by the community for the first time in 1997 – here is a brief timeline of important events.

June 2014: The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party coalition government headed by Prithviraj Chavan approves a proposal to reserve 16 per cent of government jobs and seats in educational institutions for Marathas and 5 per cent for Muslims.

November 2014: Bombay High Court stays the decision. Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena government forms. It decides to move the Supreme Court over the issue.

December 2014: Supreme Court refuses to vacate the Bombay High Court's interim order.

August 2016: First Maratha Kranti morcha is held in Aurangabad.

December 2016: Maharashtra government files an affidavit in the apex court to justify the reservation as constitutional. Meanwhile, Maratha agitation continues. A Maratha morcha is held in Nagpur amidst the winter session of the state legislature.

June 2017: Maharashtra government constitutes State Backward Class Commission to study the social, financial and educational status of Maratha community.

2017-2018: Demonstrations by the Maratha community across Maharashtra demanding quota. Maratha associations meet in Pandharpur and force the then CM Fadnavis to cancel the trip to Pandharpur temple. He says his government supports demand for reservation to Maratha but the ball is in court's hands.

November 2018: After the M G Gaikwad commission submitted its report to the Maharashtra government, the Maharashtra legislature passes a bill proposing 16 per cent reservation in education and government jobs for Maratha community - as a socially and educationally backward class.

December 2018: Several petitions were filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the quota decision for exceeding the 50 per cent limit set by the Supreme Court in Indra Sawhney judgement.

February 2019: A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre commence the hearing on the issue. Maharashtra government defends the reservation saying it was meant to alleviate the "socially and economically" backward class.

June 2019: The High Court pronounces its verdict, upholding the constitutional validity of the Maratha reservation. However, it asks the government to reduce it from 16 per cent to 12 to 13 per cent, as recommended by the commission.

July 2019: Appeals were filed against the Bombay High Court verdict before the Supreme Court.

September 2020: The apex court refers the case to larger bench on whether the state has power to declare a class socially and economically backward. A five judges' bench at SC in constituted to hear the case.

May 2021: Supreme Court holds Maratha reservation unconstitutional and strikes down the state law. It interprets the 102nd Constitutional Amendment Act as granting only the central government the power to declare a community as socially and educationally backward. Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray writes to PM Modi urging him to include the Maratha community in the list.

Also read: 'No extraordinary circumstances to exceed 50 per cent ceiling limit': SC strikes down Maratha reservation law

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