OBC community’s strike enters second day in Sambhajinagar

  • | Friday | 15th September, 2023

Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar: The indefinite hunger strike of the four OBC community members — who are opposed to the demand of giving Marathas reservation benefits under the OBC category — entered its second day in the city on Thursday, even as pro-Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange ended his 17-day fast in Jalna.The OBC community members are seeking an assurance from the state government that the OBC quota will not be diluted by giving share to the Marathas. Rambhau Perkar, one of the OBC leaders who is on a hunger strike, criticised chief minister Eknath Shinde for not taking cognisance of his communitys objections. The CM and a host of ministers fell to Jaranges feet, but no one is paying attention to our concerns. We were expecting the CM to visit our protest site too, but he did not deem it necessary, he said. The agitators demanded that the state government must scrap the GR issued to give Kunbi caste certificates to Marathas from the Marathwada region. The GR was issued in haste and has no legal framework. It was meant to appease the Maratha community at the cost of the OBC community, Sudam Chinchine, another OBC leader, said.The OBC protesters also raised the demand for a caste-based census. Such an exercise is necessary to quantify OBCs and other weaker sections. The data generated from the census would be useful in shaping and framing policies and implementation of new welfare programmes, said Sandeep Ghodke, another agitator. Warning that the OBC community would escalate its agitation ahead of the state cabinet meet scheduled from Saturday, the agitating leaders also threatened mass suicide to defend the OBC quota.Our future generations will not forgive us if we remain silent today, and allow others to snatch the quota meant for OBCs. The government would be responsible if the community is forced to take any extreme step, Perkar said.Assembled at Kranti Chowk, the protesting OBC supporters said women and children will soon join the protest if the government refuses to address the concerns of the community.We also published the following articles recentlyJarange seeks OBC support to Maratha quota demandMaratha community activist Manoj Jarange is urging OBC members not to oppose including the Marathas in their category. Jarange has been on an indefinite hunger strike, demanding recognition for the Maratha community as Kunbhi. Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde has invited a delegation of Maratha community members to Mumbai for a meeting. Jarange claims that there should be no problem including the Maratha community in the OBC category, as already 82 castes are included. He also states that 75% of the five crore Maratha community members in the state are recognized as OBC.Now, Mali community opposes Maratha reservation in OBC quotaThe Mali community in Maharashtra is protesting against the inclusion of Marathas in the Other Backward Categories (OBC) quota list. They believe that extending reservation to Marathas would be unfair as they already constitute 52% of the population. The Mali community plans to stage protests across the state and has submitted representations to district collectors. They argue that both OBCs and Marathas lack accurate population data and a caste-wise census is needed to determine backwardness accurately. The Mali community could have a significant impact on elections in the state.Marathas offer to jointly seek quota hike with OBCsThe all-party OBC-Kunbi protest against sharing reservation with Marathas began in Nagpur on Sunday. The OBCs are preparing for a long struggle if the Marathas get reservation from their quota. Meanwhile, the Akhil Bhartiya Maratha Mahasangh held a meeting in Nagpur and stated that the Marathas do not want to take the OBCs share but want an increase in the reservation itself. The Marathas are willing to talk to the OBCs to jointly raise the demand for a quota hike. The OBC-Kunbi leader mentioned that similar rallies will be held in various districts, and OBCs will not compromise on their quota.

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