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Maha CM announces panel to deal with issues raised by Marathas

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Nagpur : Maharashtra Government will set up a committee of experts and intellectuals to study and resolve various issues concerning Marathas, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said after the community members organised a massive rally in support of quota in the second capital of state here.

Addressing a delegation of Marathas, the CM said the services of retired higher and lower court judges of the community, professors and other intellectuals will be availed for studying various issues and preparing a detailed report.

A suggestion in this regard was made by Education Minister Vinod Tawde.

This is for the first time that Marathas, who have been taking out massive rallies across the state for reservation and amendments in the Atrocities Act, submitted their memorandum to the CM in deviation from the practice to hand it over to respective district collectors.

The delegation was led by six teenage girls. Speaking on the occasion, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said the proposed panel may comprise ten or more members, and a meeting will be soon convened in Mumbai.

On providing reservation to Marathas, the CM said the ball is in the court of law.

State government had recently filed a 2500-page affidavit before the Bombay High Court, supporting the demand for 16 per cent reservation for Marathas in jobs and education.

Fadnavis said the government has roped in top legal luminary, Harish Salve to fight the case for the Maratha reservation. “Salve will be appearing in the court without taking any fee,” he added.

Referring to the affidavit, the CM said he himself gave the final touches to it and that it may come up for hearing from December 30.

“The affidavit is based on various documents and historical evidences,” he said.

On the rape and murder of a Maratha girl in Kopardi early this year, Fadnavis said noted lawyer Ujjwal Nikam is representing the government.

“He (Nikam) has carefully drafted the papers and chargesheet has been filed in a fast track court. The court is likely to start the trial on a day to day basis from December 20,” the CM said.

On the alleged misuse of the Prevention of Atrocities Act, Fadnavis said dalit leaders have been apprised about the issue.

On implementation of M S Swaminathan Committee report, Fadnavis said, “the report was not very favourable for the farming community in Maharashtra. Since the cost of production of crops in the state is higher, the recommendations of the committee would not be feasible here. The only solution was to increase the crop produce.”

He assured the delegation that hostels will be constructed for Maratha youths in urban areas and also agreed to a suggestion to take possession of vacant land from the community members.

The government would provide financial assistance to the tune of Rs 30,000 to youths seeking accommodation in cities till hostel facilities are made available.

The delegation said Maratha MLAs could be convinced to part with Rs 10 lakh from their constituency funds for the purpose.

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