Senior NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Saturday warned that he won’t hesitate to take to the streets to safeguard OBC reservation in Maharashtra.
“Existing OBC reservation should remain intact. Any attempt from any quarters to dilute it will invite strong backlash. I will not hesitate to take up the big fight to protect the rights of OBCs,” he said.
Bhujbal is Minister for Food and Civil Supplies in the MVA government. His remarks come in the wake of a section within the ruling coalition and various Maratha organisations urging the government to give Maratha reservation under OBC category. Bhujbal was speaking to the media on Saturday.
Earlier, Maratha Seva Sangh founder leader Puroshattam Khedekar had recommended that the Maratha community should get reservation within the OBC category. The cabinet sub-committee on Marathas led by Ashok Chavan has decided to pursue the reservation issue in the Supreme Court. The state government this week sent a fourth letter to the SC. It urged the apex court to expedite the constitution of larger bench and take up hearing on Maratha reservation.
Apart from Maratha organisations, some MLAs and MPs are also open to Maratha reservation under OBC quota. Bhujbal said, “I’m aware there are some individuals among us who want Marathas to be accommodated in OBC category. But such a move is dangerous. It will evoke strong reaction. I will never allow this to happen. If necessary I will lead the agitation to save OBC quota.”
“We (OBCs) are not against Maratha reservation. But we want Marathas to have a separate category. The Marathas cannot be put in OBC banner for quota,” he added.
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