Updated: August 20, 2021 6:03:03 pm
At the Maratha reservation protest rally held in Nanded, Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje asked the Centre and state government not to shed their responsibilities as it would lead to serious consequences.
The BJP MP was candid in expressing his disappointment with both the Centre and the state government for not taking concrete initiatives to resolve the long-pending issue of reservation.
Directing his ire at senior Congress minister Ashok Chavan, he said, “Chavan’s absence at the Maratha reservation rally shows he has no solution to the problem. Chavan is the guardian minister of Nanded. When Maratha reservation protest is taking place in his home turf, he should have participated. Instead, he chose to stay away. Thereby indicating he has nothing to offer to resolve the issue.”
The rally is a part of the ongoing demonstration by various Maratha organisations to demand restoration of 12% and 13% reservations in government educational institutions and jobs, respectively.
On May 5, the Supreme Court had quashed the Maratha reservation. In 2018, Marathas were given reservation under the Social and Educational Backward Class category. The N G Gaikwad Commission had pronounced the reservation under this category. The state assembly and council had passed an Act giving consent to Maratha reservation.
Following the apex court decision to scrap the reservation, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government constituted a cabinet sub-committee headed by Chavan to pursue the case in the apex court.
The Maratha Kranti Morcha, which organised public protests under the leadership of Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, has demanded immediate restoration of Maratha reservation.
Sambhajiraje said, “The state government is not pursuing the issue seriously. The state government has demanded 50% reservation ceiling to be relocated. It believes it will help to accommodate newer communities such as Marathas in the reservation category. But the point is the backwardness of Marathas will have to be established. Unless it is legally and constitutionally validated, it will not be possible to uphold the quota.”
In 2017, Maratha Kranti Morcha held 58 silent rallies in 36 districts across the state to drive their demands of reservation.
Taking the agitation forward, Maratha organisations are holding rallies across the state. Urging people supporting the rallies to show restrain, the organisers asked the local leaders, elected members and prominent persons from various walks of life to come forward and get associated with the agitation.
Marathas are among the politically-dominant communities and account for 32% of the state’s population.
Sambhajiraje said, “We have decided to hold silent protests. We want the elected members across party lines to support the cause. We urge them to join our rallies and speak on what can be done to help the poor Marathas.”
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