Party lines blur at rally to oppose OBC quota dilution

  • | Tuesday | 19th September, 2023

Nagpur: The other backward class (OBC) members and Kunbis on Monday took out a massive rally to press for their demands and to oppose any move to grant reservation to the Marathas from the existing quota for the community.The rally started from Samvidhan Square and culminated at the collectors office. Many bigwigs from various political parties participated in the rally organized by the All OBC-Kunbi organisations and National OBC Federation (NOF).Even after the governments appeal to them through deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, the protesters have resolved to continue their agitation across Maharashtra. We will not relent until the government led by CM Eknath Shinde and deputy CMs Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar calls us for discussion on the issue and give us assurance to fulfil our demands, NOF president Baban Taywade, who led the rally, told TOI on Monday.Leaders cutting across the political spectrum participated in the rally along with thousands of activists. Prominent among them included leader of opposition Vijay Wadettiwar, former ministers Sunil Kedar and Nitin Raut from Congress, senior NCP leader Anil Deshmukh and his son Salil, MLCs Abhijit Wanjarii, Pravin Datke, Parinay Fuke and Sudhakar Adbale, MLA Sameer Meghe, BJP rural president Sudhakar Kohale and others. Many organizations representing backward classes and tribals also participated in the rally, extending their support to the OBCs and Kunbis. Fuke, in a statement issued, said Kunbi certificate should not be granted to all Marathas. He also called the BJP-Shiv Sena-NCP government to increase the OBC quota from the present 27% to 52% by lifting the 50% ceiling on the reservation fixed by the Supreme Court.Taywade said the protesters have put up 15 demands in their representation submitted to the collector and to be forwarded to the CM and deputy CMs and respective party presidents.We are opposing any move to grant Kunbi certificates to all Marathas as demanded by Manoj Jarange Patil, who had launched fast-unto-death earlier. We want the government to provide separate reservation to the Marathas by tweaking the 50% ceiling. We have been agitating since September 10 and receiving overwhelming response from all quarters of the society, Taywade said.We also published the following articles recentlyAssure us that Marathas wont be included in OBC list: Kunbis to stateKunbi organizations in Maharashtra have announced plans to launch an indefinite hunger strike to protest against the state governments decision to allot Kunbi caste certificates to Marathas, allowing them to take benefits of OBC reservation. The organizations are demanding that the reservation limit for OBCs be increased and separate reservation be granted for Marathas. Political leaders, including former ministers and MLAs, have visited the protest site to show support. The Teli community has also declared support for the Kunbi and OBC organizations. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis assured that no injustice would be done to the OBC community.Reservation for Marathas will not affect OBC quota, Fadnavis assures protestersDeputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has appealed to the OBC and Kunbi communities in Nagpur to end their chain hunger strike. He assured them that the state government will not disturb their respective reservation to accommodate Marathas. The protesters fear that the Maratha community may be included in the OBC quota, and they are demanding written assurance that this will not happen. The government is firm that no one will be added to the OBC quota, and measures suggested by a retired judge committee are being implemented.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 argue that allocating reservation to Marathas would be unfair as it would reduce the opportunities available to other communities. The Mali community plans to stage protests across the state and has submitted representations to district collectors. They suggest that a caste-wise census is needed to accurately determine social, educational, and economic backwardness for reservation purposes.

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