States & UTs

    Convert draft notification on 'blood relatives' of Kunbi Marathas into law: Manoj Jarange

    The Hawk
    February21/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Activist Manoj Jarange challenges the legality of the 10% Maratha community reservation bill in Maharashtra. Hunger strike ongoing since Feb 10. Demand for 'blood relatives' inclusion in Kunbi Marathas law.

    Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange Patil

    Jalna: Activist Manoj Jarange on Wednesday claimed the bill providing 10 per cent reservation to the Maratha community would not stand legal scrutiny and reiterated his demand that the Maharashtra government's draft notification on 'blood relatives' of Kunbi Marathas be converted into a law.

    Speaking to reporters at Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district, Jarange, who has been on a hunger strike since February 10, said a meeting of the Maratha community members will be held here in the afternoon after which further course of action will be decided.

    The Maharashtra legislature during a one-day special session on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill providing 10 per cent reservation for the Marathas in education and government jobs under a separate category, but Jarange has been firm on his demand for quota for the community under the OBC head.

    A substantial number of castes and groups are already placed in the reserved category, getting about 52 per cent of reservations altogether. It would be completely inequitable to place the Maratha community in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category, the bill said.

    As per the draft notification issued by the state government last month, if a Maratha person has proof to show that he or she belongs to Kunbi caste, the person’s blood relatives too would be recognised as Kunbi.

    Kunbis fall under the OBC category and get quota benefits.

    The scrutiny of the draft notification issued last month for granting certificates to “extended blood relatives” of Kunbi Marathas is currently underway as 6 lakh objections have been received, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde told the legislative assembly on Tuesday.

    Jarange on Wednesday said the government issued a draft notification (earlier this month) for giving quota to the relatives of Marathas.

    "But it didn't implement it and no discussion took place over it in the special session of the assembly. People still have faith in Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. He should accept that the oath (on granting reservation) he took earlier is still incomplete. He should tell the hurdles in implementing the quota for relatives (of Marathas)," he said.

    Jarange claimed the government would have "regretted" its decision of 10 per cent reservation for the Maratha community because no one celebrated in the state after it was announced.

    "The (Maratha) community people have understood that this is the same reservation that they were given earlier also (but was later struck down)," he added.

    "The Maratha community has nothing to do with the 10 per cent reservation given in the special assembly session on Tuesday. It will not stand legal scrutiny," he said.

    A meeting of Maratha community members will be held in Antarwali Sarati village in the afternoon after which further course of action will be decided, he said.

    Jarange also said he will continue to take medical treatment following the Bombay High Court's directive.

    After tabling the bill in the Lower House on Tuesday, CM Shinde said as many as 22 states in the country have crossed the 50 per cent reservation mark.

    "For instance, Tamil Nadu state has 69 per cent, Haryana 67 per cent, Rajasthan 64 per cent, Bihar 69 per cent, Gujarat 59 per cent and West Bengal 55 per cent. I can mention other states as well. The purpose of the session is to help the (Maratha) community," he said.

    "We want to give reservation to the Maratha community without touching the existing quota of the OBCs in the state. The Marathas have been struggling for the last 40 years to get reservation benefits," the CM said.