Quota row: Maha govt delegation meets striking OBC leaders in Jalna

Jalna (Maharashtra), Jun 21 (IANS): A ministerial delegation called on the striking OBC leaders Prof Laxman Hake and Navnath Waghmare and discussed the community’s quota concerns, at the Wadigodri village here on Friday.

The ministers included Girish Mahajan, Atul Save and Uday Samant, besides MLC Gopichand Padalkar, and they called up Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis from the hunger strike venue.

Both Shinde and Fadnavis reassured Prof Hake and Waghmare that “no injustice will be meted out to the OBCs’ cause” while deciding on the quota for the Marathas, Mahajan told media persons later.

The CM-Dy CM also requested Prof Hake and Waghmare to send a delegation to Mumbai to resolve their issues to which the OBC leaders agreed.

Accordingly, at least four senior OBC leaders from different parties, plus around four senior representatives of Prof Hake and Waghmare shall meet Shinde-Fadnavis in Mumbai this evening to sort out the problems, informed Samant.

The OBC leaders have insisted that the state government must give a written assurance that the existing 29 per cent OBC quota will not be touched while accommodating any other community’s quotas, plus other related demands.

On Thursday, Congress’ Leader of Opposition Vijay Wadettiwar and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) President Prakash Ambedkar met Prof Hake and Waghmare in Wadigodri and expressed full support for their cause.

Prof Hake and Waghmare have been sitting on an indefinite hunger strike since June 13 near a temple in Wadigodri village, and on the 8th day on Thursday, their health condition declined further, but they are adamant about continuing the agitation till the final decision.

Hake is a former Maharashtra State Backward Classes Commission member, while Waghmare is the Samata Parishad district president, and both have stopped taking food since June 13.

Wadettiwar has reminded the CM that while he makes assurances, his own Bharatiya Janata Party minister Mahajan has said that the issue of ‘sage-soyare’ (bloodline) will not survive in the court.

The Leader of the Opposition added that it was because of the faulty policies of the MahaYuti government that two major communities are now pitted against each other.

In February this year, a special session of the state legislature unanimously passed the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Economically Backward Bill, 2024, paving the way for 10 per cent quotas to the Maratha community.

However, Maratha leader and Shivba Sanghatana chief Manoj Jarange-Patil have been demanding that the state should declare Marathas as ‘Kunbis’ and grant them a separate quota from the OBCs, plus give reservation to ‘sage-soyare’ (bloodline) that would widen the scope of reservation.



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Title: Quota row: Maha govt delegation meets striking OBC leaders in Jalna

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