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  India   All India  20 Jun 2024  OBC-Maratha divide widens amidst quota protests in Maharashtra

OBC-Maratha divide widens amidst quota protests in Maharashtra

THE ASIAN AGE. | PRASAD PATIL
Published : Jun 20, 2024, 12:29 am IST
Updated : Jun 20, 2024, 12:29 am IST

OBC leaders have sought assurance from that OBC reservation will not be diluted by including the Maratha community in the catagory

BJP leader Pankja Munde and her cousin Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde meet activists protesting for protection of the OBC quota, at Wadigodri in Jalna district, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (PTI Photo)
 BJP leader Pankja Munde and her cousin Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde meet activists protesting for protection of the OBC quota, at Wadigodri in Jalna district, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (PTI Photo)

Mumbai: Quota protests in Maharashtra may create a huge Maratha-OBC divide in the state ahead of the Assembly elections. After Maratha activist Manoj Jarange tried to leverage Maratha vote bank, now OBC organisations are up in arms against the Eknath Shinde government over the attempts to include the Maratha community in the OBC category.

While Jarange on Wednesday alleged that the state government is encouraging OBC protests to counter his protests, OBC leaders have sought assurance from the government that OBC reservation will not be diluted by including the Maratha community in the catagory.

The fast by two OBC activists, seeking an assurance that the OBC quota will not be disturbed amid the Maratha reservation demand, entered the seventh day on Wednesday. The doctors, who examined the activists, said that their health has started deteriorating. However, the activists have refused to call off their hunger strike.

Laxman Hake and Navnath Waghmare took a few sips of water, but maintained that they would continue their protest.

Hake and Waghmare have been sitting on their hunger strike at Wadigodri village in Jalna district since June 13. Government medical officer Anil Waghmare said the activist's blood pressure has risen and their blood sugar levels are low. Doctors have stressed that both need to be hospitalized to prevent further health complications.

The OBC activists have demanded scrapping of the government notification regarding Kunbi caste certificates to be given to “eligible” Marathas. Hake criticised Jarange for his “ignorance” regarding the complexities of the reservation system. “Jarange does not understand the law and reservation system,” he said.

Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly and Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar has written a letter to chief minister Eknath Shinde, warning him of the “dire situation” on the ground between members of the Maratha and Other Backward Caste (OBC) communities. In the lette, The Wadettiwar said that the members of the two groups have “stopped interacting with each other”.

Jarange alleged that the OBC protests are “state sponsored”. He said, “They also have the right to protest. Let them continue their protests and we will continue ours.”

Tags: maratha quota, obc quota, manoj jarange patil
Location: India, Maharashtra