Will oppose backdoor attempt to give reservation to Marathas under OBC category: Chhagan Bhujbal.

Jalna, November 6 (Language) Maharashtra minister and Nationalist Congress Party (Ajit Pawar faction) leader Chhagan Bhujbal on Monday said that backdoor efforts are being made to provide reservation to Marathas under the Other Backward Caste (OBC) category. will be opposed.

He also said that violence and pressure tactics will not be tolerated. His comments have come in the backdrop of protests in various parts of the state demanding reservation for Marathas.

Bhujbal stressed that he was not against giving reservation to Marathas in government jobs and education, but it could be given separately.

“The protesters are using force and intimidation to achieve their objectives,” Bhujbal told reporters. An increase in incidents of arson and violence was seen in the Marathwada region during the ongoing protests demanding Maratha reservation.

He said that when Maratha leaders realized that they would not get reservation directly (outside the OBC quota), they tried to get it through the backdoor (within the OBC category).

“We will not accept such tactics and will fight to protect our reservation,” he said. The Constitution has provided reservation for the upliftment of socially backward communities and it is not a poverty alleviation programme.

The minister said, “BR Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Constitution, has provided reservation on the basis of social backwardness and not on the basis of economic criteria.”

The Maharashtra government has expanded the scope of the Justice Sandeep Shinde (Retd) committee formed to study the feasibility of granting Kunbi certificates to members of the Maratha community in the wake of protests led by social activist Manoj Jarange. Manoj Jarange had recently withdrawn his indefinite fast on the assurance of the government.

Jaranga’s demands also include giving Kunbi certificates to Marathas so that they can get reservation under Other Backward Classes.

According to Jarange, he has given the state government a deadline of December 24 to implement the Maratha quota, but the state government has asked for time till January 2.

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