File image | Photo: ANI twitter
After Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange Patil started yet another indefinite hunger strike, a special session of the Maharashtra Assembly in connection to the Reservation is likely to be called at this weekend, sources said.
On Saturday, activist Manoj Jarange Patil started another indefinite hunger strike from his village, Antarwali-Saraati in Maharashtra's Jalna district to press for Maratha reservation.
Patil also demanded that the state government call a special assembly session in the next two days. "To implement the draft notification to provide reservations to the Maratha community, given by the state government, it should be made into law in the special assembly session," he said.
Patil also demanded that the state government start the process of taking back all the cases filed against members of the Maratha community.
Earlier, while announcing his indefinite hunger strike, Patil said, "It is much needed to sit on an indefinite hunger strike again. It is the government's responsibility to implement the law for the reservation. This law is very important for the Maratha community."
He also said that once they get the certificate of reservation, they will hold a Vijay rally, and that day will be celebrated as 'Maha Diwali'.
"This is the first time in the last 70 years that the Maratha Community has had a strong law for the reservation. We had planned to march to Mumbai. When we get the certificate of reservation we will hold a Vijay rally and that day will be celebrated as Maha Diwali," he added.
Even though the state government issued a draft notification claiming to give the reservation to the Maratha community, Jarange Patil and his community are in doubt after the contradictory statements passed by the leaders.
The Maratha community, under the leadership of Jarange Patil, has been seeking reservations in education and jobs under the OBC category. The guarantee of reservation under the Kumbi category however finds objection within the Maharashta government with senior leader Chhagan Bhujbal opposed to it.
"I have been working for the OBCs for the last 35 years. Today Marathas are included in OBC, tomorrow Patels, Jaats and Gurjars will also be included. Strong communities will enter the OBC category this way. We will fight in every manner that can be expected in a democracy. Supreme Court said that Marathas are not backward, but they are being included in OBC through the backdoor entry, this is affecting the OBC reservation," Bhujbal had said.
Patil had begun his agitation in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, outlining several demands, including Kunbi certificates for all Marathas, free education from kindergarten to postgraduate level, and reservation of seats for Marathas in government job recruitments.
Following this, the government issued an ordinance accepting these demands.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde claimed that his government would give the reservation to the Maratha community without making any kind of change in other communities' reservations.
"While giving the Maratha reservation, we will keep in mind that whether it is the OBC community or any other community, without making any kind of change in their reservation, we will give the reservation to the Maratha community. Our view from the beginning has been to provide such a reservation that meets the criteria. I have said this openly as Chief Minister, and both our Deputy Chief Ministers have also said the same," Shinde had said.
On May 5, 2021, the Supreme Court struck down reservations for the Maratha community in colleges, higher educational institutions, and jobs, after noting that there was no valid ground to breach 50 per cent reservation while granting Maratha reservation.
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First Published: Feb 12 2024 | 12:43 PM IST