Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has set up a ‘war room’ at the State Secretariat complex here to complete the mega recruitment process as per the new caste reservation quota.

An official said the government may complete the process of recruitment for all the 72,000 posts at one go before February, instead of filling 36,000 posts spread over two years.

A bill that grants 16% reservation to the members of the Maratha community in government jobs and education in Maharashtra was unanimously passed by both the Houses of the State legislature last week, meeting a long-pending demand of the influential community, which constitutes 33% of the State’s population of around 13 crore.

“The idea is to fill the posts before the Bombay High Court stays the decision. It will help the ruling party get Maratha votes in the Lok Sabha and Assembly polls scheduled in 2019,” the government official said.

In the last budget session of the State legislature, Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced that 72,000 vacant posts will be filled in two phases.

The vacant posts to be filled are spread across departments like Agriculture, Public Health, Home, Animal Husbandry, Public Works Department, Water Resources, Water Conservation, Fisheries and Urban Development departments.

On Wednesday, the government set up a war room on the seventh floor of the State Secretariat to handle the mega recruitment process smoothly. The first meeting of all the departments concerned was held there.

The senior official who attended the meeting said the government was keen on finishing the process of recruitment as soon as possible.

“However, it would depend on the Information and Technology (IT) department, which will play a key role in the process,” he said.

“The process of filling up of all 72,000 posts will be started now. It is scheduled to be completed before the Lok Sabha code of conduct comes into effect and before a possible stay by the high court,” he added.

The state may issue an order delegating the powers to fill few posts at the ground level by the district collector or tehsil to save time, he added.

Meanwhile, the State general administration department (GAD) Wednesday issued a government resolution stating that Marathas would be able to get 16% reservation in the remaining 48 per cent posts in the open category and no share of 16% in 100% vacant posts.

“This means that Marathas would get only 8% reservation of the existing 52% reservation,” the official said.