Pressured by the Marathas, govt postpones MPSC exam

Updated: 10 October, 2020 07:31 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said the decision was taken for the benefit of candidates from all communities, castes and creeds

A file picture of people from the Maratha community protesting to demand employment quotas for the community in government jobs at Bandra. Pic/Atul Kamble
A file picture of people from the Maratha community protesting to demand employment quotas for the community in government jobs at Bandra. Pic/Atul Kamble

Cornered by the protesting Maratha community and the difficulties that a prolonged pandemic-lockdown has created, the Maharashtra government has postponed till further notice, the recruitment examination to be held by the state public service commission on Sunday, October 11.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and senior cabinet ministers held a meeting in Mumbai on Friday, a day before the Marathas had scheduled their state-wide protest seeking a quota in jobs and education on Saturday. The community held a massive protest in the run-up to the major agitation at Tuljapur on Friday. Without direct reference to the protest, Thackeray said the decision was taken for the benefit of candidates of all communities, castes and creeds. "Everything — coaching classes, libraries, schools and colleges are closed for the past six-seven months. The pandemic continues to grow alarmingly. There was a demand from several sections of society that the MPSC (Maharashtra Public Service Commission) exam be postponed and candidates be given time for study. I have to think of all the people in the state," said Thackeray after the meeting.

Details to be decided

He said the candidates will not be barred from taking the rescheduled exam on the basis of age limit. "Age criteria will be the same as it is today," he said, adding that the government has interacted with the Maratha leaders and the remaining details will be decided as and when required.

The staying of their quota by the Supreme Court has enraged the state's single largest community which wants the MVA government to win the case or make alternative arrangements to reserve for them seats in education and recruitment. The MPSC exam and the mega police recruitment drive came up after the constitutional crisis over the Maratha quota.

OBCs, Dhangars meet CM

BJP MP Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje, who has been at the forefront in the Maratha agitation, thanked the CM and his cabinet colleagues for postponing the exams. However, the representatives of other backward classes (OBC) were upset and had a meeting with Thackeray till late Friday. The OBCs do not want others to share their quota if the additional reservation for Marathas doesn't get constitutional validity. OBC leader and MVA minister Chhagan Bhujbal said no eligible person desiring to get a job should be stopped from giving the recruitment exam. Another quota-seeking community — the Dhangars also met the CM.

Thackeray promised the OBC leaders he would constitute a cabinet sub-committee to look into their concerns and assured that their quota would not be affected.

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First Published: 10 October, 2020 07:30 IST

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