Updated: June 19, 2021 7:13:25 pm
Two days after he raised the demands of the Maratha community with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, MP Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, who is spearheading the community’s agitation for reservation in jobs and education, said given the positive outlook shown by the government, he was confident that the reservation issue was nearing a solution.
“Our meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere. The government sounded positive about addressing the demands raised by us. As of now, they have shown a positive outlook. By it is only after they resolve the issue that we can say the government is seriously positive towards the welfare of the community,” Sambhajiraje told The Indian Express on Saturday.
Sambhajiraje said he placed six demands before the government. “Of these, two are very crucial — implementing the supernumerary system and strengthening SARATHI. If supernumerary system is implemented, the government does not require to go to Delhi or the court. It can do so on its own. If it is implementing the system in education field, then it will have to create more seats. For this, it will have to spend more money which I am sure the government should have no problem in doing as it relates to the welfare of a community,” he said.
Sambhajiraje said the state government had told him that it will take the advice of the Attorney General of India for implementing the supernumerary system. “I told them they should not complicate matters when it comes to implementing the system. The government will be well within its jurisdiction if it implements the supernumerary system. If it goes to the court, then it will take several days. The government has sought 14 days’ time and we have no issue with it,” he said.
As far as Sarathi, or the Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research, Training and Human Development Institute, was concerned, Sambhajiraje said he has demanded more funds and adequate manpower for it. “We also demanded that members of the community should be appointed on the board of directors of SARATHI. The government has agreed to our demands,” he said.
“… However, our demand for reservation will continue, we will continue to battle it out in the courts. A review petition will soon be filed in the Supreme Court. We want reservation, that is for sure. At the same time, I do not deny the fact that if the supernumerary system is implemented and SARATHI is made effective, it will calm down Maratha youth who are upset over the apathy of the rulers towards their demands,” said the MP.
Sambhajiraje said the state government has also agreed to set up hostels in every district of the state for Maratha youth.
“We have also demanded that the benefits extended to other OBC youth should also be extended to Maratha youth. The government has also agreed to resolve our demand regarding 2,185 Maratha candidates who were selected before the Supreme Court stayed the reservation law. Of these, nearly 2,000 candidates were selected but were not given appointment letters. Rest of them have been given appointment letters. We want these candidates to be appointed in government establishments without wasting any time. The government said it will take up this demand on priority,” he said.
The MP said the state government has also promised him that they will withdraw the FIRs registered against Maratha youth during the reservation agitation. “Except one case which can’t be withdrawn, other cases will be dropped. The government said it will request the court to drop the cases,” he said.
Stating that he has faith in the government, Sambhajiraje, however, said the agitation will continue for now.
“Next week, during our silent protests in Nashik, we will take a call regarding for our future course of action. Though we are confident that the government will resolve our demands, we want to see it actually happen…Therefore, we have so far not taken any decision on calling off our silent protests,” he said.
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