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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Maratha quota: Sambhajiraje, Udayanraje say govt inaction will lead to violence, demand special legislature session

Udayanraje Bhosale demanded that a session of the state assembly be convened to discuss the Maratha reservation issue even as the community gets ready for sit-in protests across Maharashtra from June 16.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: June 15, 2021 9:59:40 am
Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati and Udayanraje Bhosale. (Express photo: Arul Horizon )

Ahead of the Maratha community’s sit-in protests across the state from June 16, Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje and Udayanraje Bhosale, descendants of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, met in the city on Monday and warned the government that “its indecisiveness could spark violence which will then be difficult to control”.

“The state government lacks the will to find a solution to the reservation imbroglio. If it continues to delay taking any decision on the demands of the Maratha community, it will then lead to violence…the government will be responsibile for this. We will not be able to stop the violence. If we try to pacify the agitators, we might be attacked too,” said Udayanraje after the meeting.

Sambhajiraje said he concurred with Udayanraje’s view that the government’s indecisiveness on their demands might spark violence. Udayanraje added, “The way things are happening, we cannot rule out another partition…Both central and state government will be responsible for this.”

While Sambhajiraje reiterated that the government should take up their key state demands, which it can implement as they were within its purview, Udayanraje demanded that a special session of the state legislature be convened to discuss the Maratha reservation issue and find a solution. “Why is the state government not covening a House session on the Maratha reservation? Why can’t MLAs discuss the issue? We are demanding the special House session because the MLAs say one thing inside the House, another outside it. Let the House session be telecast live and let people know the views of our representatives,” Udayanraje said.


Sambhajiraje said whether it was their demand for implementing supernumerary system, strengthening Sarathi and Annasaheb Patil Mahamandal or setting up hostels for Maratha community and providing scholarships, all these are within the jurisdiction of the state government. “There is another demand relating to jobs for 2,185 youths…Of these, 114 were give appointment letters while remaining were selected. The Supreme Court had stayed the Act on September 9, 2020 but allowed appointments before that. The government should seek clarification from the apex court regarding those selected before the Act was stayed. In the meantime, these youths can be provided jobs under supernumerary quota. Also, supernumerary quota can be applied in education as well. The government will need to spend more money under supernumerary, which they should have no problem with if the issue of reservation can be resolved,” he said.

Sambhajiraje said, “Since the Supreme Court has said the Maratha community was a forward or upper caste community, the community has two options before it. One is filing review petition and another is curative petition. The chances of review petition being dismissed are more. And the Bhosale Committee has advised against filing curative petition. Now, the option before the state government is setting up of another commission to prove social backwardness of the Maratha community. The government can approach the governor, who can then go to the President. The President can then refer the matter to the National Backward Class Commission, which can take information from the State Backward Class Commission. The report will go to the President, who can then take the call regarding placing reservation issue before the Parliament. Therefore, it is the rulers who have to decide which option to choose,” he said.

“The government is keeping mum. It shoud act on our demands, which are within its purview. We don’t want to organise the sit-in protests in 36 districts but because of the indecisiveness of the state government, we are forced to take up the agitation.”

Stating that he was confident that Supreme Court judges had not read the Gaikwad Commission report recommending reservation for the Maratha community, Udayanraje said, “I don’t believe in courts…I am sure the judges have not read the commission report before giving their ruling…If the state government has will power, it can easily find a solution.”

Sambhajiraje said he met Udayanraje after many years to discuss an important subject. “We do meet occassionally but this is the first time we met to discuss a subject,” he said. Udayanraje said, “We are not two families of Kolhapur and Satara but are from the same family of Chhatarapati Shivaji…he (Sambhajiraje) is a gentleman.”

On the Prime Minister not giving him an appointment, Sambhajiraje said, “Whenever I have asked for an appointment, the PM has given me an appointment in one or two days. Maybe this time, due to the pandemic or…a particular community, the appointment is yet to be given.”

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