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“Not Like I Met Nawaz Sharif”: Uddhav Thackeray After Face-Time With PM

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Uddhav Thackeray had asked for 10 minutes of face-time with PM Modi, sources say.

Highlights

  • Uddhav Thackeray had asked for 10 minutes of face-time with PM
  • Last month Mr Thackeray wrote to PM on the Maratha issue
  • Supreme Court last week struck down the quota

New Delhi:

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today and raised the subject of Maratha quota, struck down by the Supreme Court recently.

Uddhav Thackeray had also asked for 10 minutes of face-time with PM Modi, sources say. He is believed to have underscored in that meeting that the BJP, the main opposition in Maharashtra, is trying to amplify the quota row in his state and it could snowball.

“I raised the issue of Maratha reservation,” said the Chief Minister, who went with his deputy Ajit Pawar and others. Cyclone Tauktae relief for Maharashtra was also discussed.

On his separate meeting with the PM, Mr Thackeray avoided specifics but remarked: “We may not be politically together but that doesn’t mean our relationship has broken. I didn’t go to meet a Nawaz Sharif. So if I meet him (PM) separately in person, there is nothing wrong with it.”

Last month Mr Thackeray wrote to the Prime Minister and requested him to take steps to declare the Maratha community in the state as a  Socially and Educationally Backward caste so they could claim reservation in education (12 per cent) and jobs (13 per cent).

The Supreme Court last week struck down the quota, calling it “unconstitutional”. A five-judge bench said the 2018 law for Maratha quota had pushed reservation over the current 50 per cent cap.

On May 31 the Maharashtra government extended EWS (economically weaker section) benefits – including 10 per cent reservation – to the Maratha community.

Reservation was given to Marathas in 2018 by the Devendra Fadnavis government.

The Bombay High Court upheld the quota but its decision was paused by the Supreme Court.

Mr Thackeray’s visit also comes after an editorial in the ruling Shiv Sena’s mouthpiece – ‘Saamna‘ – which said the battle to “destabilise politics of Maharashtra” would be fought in Delhi.

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