Mumbai: The Maharashtra Assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a bill proposing 16 per cent reservation for Marathas under socially and educationally backward category. The bill provides for reservation of seats for admission in educational institutions and posts in public services to Marathas who have been declared as socially and educationally backward class of citizens.Also Read - Maharashtra Bandh: 8 BEST Buses Damaged, Markets Shut As Normal Life Hit; BJP Slams Uddhav Govt | 10 Points

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who tabled the bill, thanked Opposition members for helping in passage of the bill unanimously. He also tabled the action taken report (ATR) on the State Backward Class Commission’s (SBCC) recommendations for reservation to the Maratha community in government jobs and education, along with the recommendations of the SBCC’s report on social, educational and financial status of the Maratha community. Also Read - Maharashtra Suspends 12 BJP MLAs For 1 Year For Misbehaving With Presiding Officer

Earlier in the day, the Shiv Sena and BJP issued a whip to their members to be present in their respective Houses, legislative assembly and legislative council, in view of the tabling of the bill. Also Read - BJP-Shiv Sena Like Aamir Khan-Kiran Rao, Parted Ways But Friendship Intact: Sanjay Raut

Marathas have been declared as socially and educationally backward class of citizens (SEBC) and have inadequate representation in services under the state, the panel report said. They are entitled to reservation benefits and advantages enshrined in the Articles 15(4) and 16(4) of the Constitution, it said.

The panel had suggested that looking at exceptional circumstances and extra-ordinary situations generated on declaring Marathas as socially and educationally backward and their consequential entitlement to reservation benefits, the government may take appropriate decision within constitutional provision to address the emerging scenario in the state.

The Bill to provide for reservation of seats for admission in educational institutions and posts in public services in the state was tabled thereafter.

The Maratha community, which comprises over 30 per cent of the state’s population, has been seeking reservation in government jobs and education for a long time. Their stir for the same in July and August this year had taken a violent turn.