This Article is From Oct 31, 2023

"Incomplete Reservation For Marathas Not Acceptable": Activist Manoj Jarange

Reservation being given to only some sections of the Maratha community would not be acceptable, activist Manoj Jarange said.

'Incomplete Reservation For Marathas Not Acceptable': Activist Manoj Jarange

Manoj Jarange said that Maratha activists were agitating peacefully

Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar:

The Maratha community will not accept an "incomplete reservation" and the Maharashtra government should call a special session of the state legislature on the issue, activist Manoj Jarange said on Tuesday. Jarange, who is on an indefinite hunger strike for the demand of reservation, held a news conference at his village Antarwali Sarati in Jalna district after Chief Minister Eknath Shinde talked to him on the phone and assured that a decision about giving Kunbi caste certificates to the Marathas would be taken at a state cabinet meeting later in the day.

Kunbis, an agrarian community, are already eligible for reservation in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

"I have spoken to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde....I have made clear my stand once again that an incomplete reservation for the Marathas is not acceptable. The government should announce reservation for the Marathas in the entire state. We (Marathas across the state) are brothers and have a blood relation," Jarange said.

Reservation being given to only some sections of the community would not be acceptable, he added.

"60-65 percent of Marathas are already in the ambit of reservation. The government should extend it to the remaining Marathas in the state. For this, the government should call a special session and pass a resolution, accepting the first report of the committee appointed for this purpose and give (Kunbi) certificates. Those who do not want the certificate will not take them. But those who want, should get it," he said.

A meeting of scholars from the Maratha community will be held at Antarwali Sarati during the day to discuss the issue of quota, Jarange said.

Amid incidents of violence over the demand for Maratha quota in some parts of the state, he claimed that Maratha activists were agitating peacefully.

"I have started drinking water as the Maratha community wished so. The community is now agitating peacefully. We want to agitate peacefully. Our two programs, hunger strike and a ban on political leaders from entering villages, should continue," he said.

On some public representatives reportedly submitting their resignations over the quota demand, Jarange said, "I have not asked them to resign. If they want, they can, but it should not affect the community adversely. Public representatives like MLAs, MPs and former MLAs and MPs should form a group and secure reservation for the Maratha community." He also said that the agitators should not think of calling a bandh at the moment, and the government should keep public transport services running.

As per a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office earlier, Jarange, who started his second hunger strike on October 25, began to drink water after a "satisfactory" discussion with Shinde in the morning.

He had ended his earlier hunger strike last month after the government said the Marathas in the Marathwada region would be given Kunbi caste certificates on production of necessary documents from the period when the area was part of the Nizam's state.

In May 2021, the Supreme Court had struck down Maharashtra's Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018, which granted reservation to the Maratha community, for violating the 50 per cent ceiling. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)