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  India   Politics  21 Jun 2024  Opposition parties blame Shinde government for OBC-Maratha divide

Opposition parties blame Shinde government for OBC-Maratha divide

THE ASIAN AGE. | SONU SHRIVASTAVA
Published : Jun 21, 2024, 12:39 am IST
Updated : Jun 21, 2024, 12:39 am IST

NCP founder Sharad Pawar put the onus on the Shinde government and said it has to resolve both issues

Shiv Sena legislator Eknath Shinde (Photo: File)
 Shiv Sena legislator Eknath Shinde (Photo: File)

Mumbai: Opposition parties in Maharashtra on Thursday warned the Eknath Shinde government over growing tension between the Maratha community and OBCs. Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar, dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar met OBC leaders, who are on indefinite fast for the last eight days opposing inclusion of the Maratha community in the OBC category. NCP founder Sharad Pawar put the onus on the Shinde government and said it has to resolve both issues.

OBC activists Prof. Lakshman Hake and Navnath Waghmare have been on an indefinite fast at Wadi Godri village in Jalna District demanding to not disturb the OBC quota while providing the reservation to the Marathas. Hake and Waghmare’s protest came in the backdrop of Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange, who has been demanding OBC reservation for his community members as Kunbis, an agrarian group classified as an OBC (other backward class) community.

Mr. Wadettiwar, who is leader of opposition (LOP) in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, spoke to chief minister Eknath Shinde over the phone. The chief minister assured the LOP that the government will send its delegation to the Jalna district.

The Congress leader said that he is committed to his community (OBC) and he is not bothered for the power and position.  “Due to the wrong policy of the government, our reservation will be lost,” he alleged.

Mr. Wadettiwar said that the government should give an answer as to why the OBC’s reservation is being taken away. “The two communities are becoming hostile to each other. There is anger among the people,” he said, while appealing to the chief minister to take a decision soon on this issue.

An official from CMO (chief minister office) said that the CM has decided to send a delegation to meet the both OBC activists. “A delegation of cabinet ministers will meet the OBC activists on Friday and the delegation will urge them to withdraw the agitation,” the official said.  

Mr. Ambedkar, who is the chief of VBA (Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi), said that the government should look into this issue seriously. “Social harmony needs to be maintained in the state. To this end, we need to step up. Unfortunately, the government failed to take a step in this regard,” the VBA chief said.  

Mr. Pawar said that the Centre needs to step in. “In some places, laws need to be amended. At the same time, the Union government and the state government should change their policies. The government, especially the Union government will have to take the lead on the demands (of both community leaders). It is the responsibility of everyone to ensure that social tension should not emerge. We don’t want to bring politics into it. But we can not accept the center’s role of being a mute spectator,” the veteran Maratha politician said.

Tags: eknath shinde, vijay wadettiwar, maratha reservation
Location: India, Maharashtra