Maharashtra: Congress, Shiv Sena not on same page over reservation to migrants ahead of BMC elections

Express News Service

MUMBAI: Ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections, the Congress mooted the idea of reservation to the migrant community. However, this demand can be seen as a threat to Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government because it will hurt the Shiv Sena’s son of the soil – Marathi Manoos agenda.

Congress leader Nasim Khan had demanded that the migrants from other states in Maharashtra should be given reservations like another caste and communities. He said there are many migrants who have been staying for long time.

“These migrants have become Maharashtrians so they should also get the benefit that other people in Maharashtra are getting. There are many OBC, SC and ST communities people migrated to Mumbai and another part of the state in search of work. So, the state government should verify the denotified communities in various reserved categories and reservations should be extended to them as well. It will not only help their children to get admission in good colleges but get the jobs in government as well,” Nasikm Khan said.

Congress Minister Vijay Wadettiwar positively responded to this Congress leader demand. He said that it is true that many migrants belong to various caste and communities. “If they can avail the benefit of their reservations in their own state, they should get the same benefit in other states as well if they are staying a long time here. We will look into it and will check the legalities as well,” Wadettiwar said.

While Shiv Sena leader Ravindra Waikar said that Shiv Sena is 100 per cent with the son of the soil and there is no change in their stand even though they are sharing power with Congress and the NCP in the state.

Sources in Congress said that it is true that it will hurt the Shiv Sena’s son of the soil – Marathi manoos agenda but it can divide the migrants on the line of caste and communities. “Presently, the major chunk of the migrants, particularly North Indians are tilted towards BJP. If they are divided into the caste lines by giving reservations to them, then the majority of OBC, ST and SC chunk can shift back to Congress ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation elections. Therefore, this strategy has been played it out,” said the source requesting anonymity.

A political observer said that in the 2017 BMC polls, the majority of the chunk of migrants, mainly North Indians, voted to BJP so the seats of the BJP jumped from 31 to 82 in 277 members of corporations while Congress party and NCP number went down from 51 to 31 seats and 13 to 9 seats respectively. “Congress wants to do some course corrections ahead of the BMC polls,” said senior Congress leader.