Rajya Sabha MP Sambhaji Chhatrapati on Wednesday said that the poor within the Maratha community should get benefit of reservation as has been given to the Other Backward Class category.
Chhatrapati has begun a state-wide tour to interact with various organisations, intellectuals and legal experts on the Maratha quota issue.
“I would like to appeal to both MVA and BJP not to politicise Maratha reservation. Instead, everybody should come forward to find an amicable solution to help the poor and oppressed Marathas,” he told the media on Wednesday.
“My tour is not aligned with any political party or agenda. Since 2007, I have raised the demand for Maratha reservation. Way back in 1902, Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj had given reservation to economically backward class across caste and community including Marathas. This was the first such decision in the country even before Independence. I hail from the Shahu Maharaj family. The concept of well-being of the poor and oppressed was the foundation laid by our great warrior kings Chhatrapati Shivaji and Shahu Maharaj. Are we not going to honour their decisions?” he said.
“Don’t give the benefits to rich Marathas. But there are 30 per cent within Marathas who are poor. They should get the benefits as extended to others,” he added.
Regarding street agitation, the MP said, “Marathas have already held 58 silent rallies across Maharashtra. The message has been conveyed loud and clear. Yet, if the government fails to concede to our demands, we will certainly think. But people are suffering due to Covid-19. It would be unfair to launch any agitation and get them on streets.”
He said he would spell out his final decision on the issue on May 28, and that he would meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, NCP president Sharad Pawar and Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis.