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Anil Parab Takes Stand for Maharashtrians' Housing Rights with New Bill

Parab cited instances where developers allegedly denied housing to Maharashtrians based on dietary preferences or religious beliefs, labeling such practices as unconstitutional.

Anil Parab Takes Stand for Maharashtrians' Housing Rights with New Bill
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In a move aimed at addressing concerns over dwindling Maharashtrian presence in Mumbai, Anil Parab, a legislator from Shiv Sena (UBT) and candidate of the Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi for the Mumbai Graduates’ seat in the Legislative Council, has introduced a significant legislative proposal. Parab's private member’s bill proposes a mandatory 50% reservation for Maharashtrians in new construction projects across Maharashtra. This initiative comes amidst growing grievances from the Maharashtrian community regarding difficulties in securing housing in Mumbai, a city historically significant to Maharashtra. Parab emphasized the city’s cultural and historical ties, highlighting the sacrifices made for its inclusion in the state.

Concerns Over Decreasing Maharashtrian Presence

Parab expressed deep concern over the declining Maharashtrian population in Mumbai, attributing it to challenges in accessing housing. He noted that despite the city being integral to Maharashtra's identity, many Maharashtrians face obstacles in renting or buying homes, exacerbating concerns over cultural preservation and community integration. The proposed reservation aims to stabilize and potentially increase the Maharashtrian presence in Mumbai, ensuring their continued participation in the city’s social and economic fabric.

Discrimination and Community Response

Parab cited instances where developers allegedly denied housing to Maharashtrians based on dietary preferences or religious beliefs, labeling such practices as unconstitutional. He referenced protests in Vile Parle where Maharashtrians rallied against a builder who refused housing to non-vegetarian individuals. Despite media coverage prompting an apology from the developer, Parab criticized the government’s response, calling for legislative measures to protect Maharashtrians from discriminatory practices.

Legislative Framework, Session and Electoral Implications

Under the proposed bill, developers failing to comply with the 50% reservation for Maharashtrians could face penalties including a six-month prison term, a fine of Rs 10 lakh, or both. Parab argued that stringent measures are necessary to enforce housing equality and prevent further marginalization of Maharashtrians in Mumbai. The bill aims to institutionalize safeguards against discrimination, ensuring fair access to housing opportunities for all residents of Maharashtra.

The legislative session is scheduled to commence on June 27, coinciding with the upcoming elections for four Legislative Council seats, including the Mumbai Graduates’ constituency on June 26. Parab’s proposal is expected to spark debates among lawmakers regarding housing policies and minority rights in Maharashtra. As discussions unfold in the Legislative Council, stakeholders and communities await the outcome of this pivotal legislative initiative aimed at reshaping housing dynamics in Mumbai and beyond.

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