Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday announced that the government will bring in a legislation to ensure Marathi is taught in all schools in the state, PTI reported. Those flouting the rule will face action, he said.

Fadnavis was responding to Shiv Sena legislator Neelam Gorhe’s question in the Legislative Council. Gorhe sought to know the status of making Marathi mandatory in non-state board schools.

In response, the chief minister said there is already a provision to teach Marathi in schools attached to non-state education boards. “Despite this, if there are some schools not teaching Marathi language to students, we will initiate action against them,” he said. He added that, if needed, the existing law can be amended to ensure Marathi education is taught in all schools in the state, including those affiliated to Indian Certificate of Secondary Education and Central Board of Secondary Education.

At present, Marathi is a compulsory subject up to class 8 in schools run by the CBSE and the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations – a private board which conducts the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education examination.

But Fadnavis admitted that schools were not following the directive. “According to information I have from my officers, several of these schools are not following our directive on teaching Marathi...No board will be allowed to get away with this,” he was quoted as saying by The Hindu.

Gorhe had also pointed out in the Council that English schools with curriculum of a global standard are shying away from the government directive. She also said several writers have decided to stage protest at Azad Maidan in south Mumbai on June 24 to demand stringent rules to make the state’s main language mandatory in schools, on the lines of other southern states like Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

A delegation of leading linguists are slated to meet Fadnavis and present a charter of demands in the matter. It will include setting up of a regional board for implementation and development of Marathi as a language, The Hindu reported.