"Not against any community but...": Chhagan Bhujbal on Maratha reservation issue
By Lokmat English Desk | Published: November 28, 2023 08:25 PM2023-11-28T20:25:20+5:302023-11-28T20:25:54+5:30
Maharashtra Cabinet minister and OBC leader Chhagan Bhujbal stated on Tuesday that he is not against any community. However, ...
Maharashtra Cabinet minister and OBC leader Chhagan Bhujbal stated on Tuesday that he is not against any community. However, he emphasized the need for a social group to fight for its rights. These remarks come amid the ongoing protest by the Marathas, seeking reservation in government jobs and education.
Bhujbal, who strongly opposes including the Marathas in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category for quota benefits, spoke at an award ceremony organized by his outfit Samta Parishad. He mentioned the changing social dynamics in Maharashtra, deviating from the vision of prominent social reformers like Mahatma Phule, Babasaheb Ambedkar, and Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj, who aimed to eradicate the caste system and promote equality.
"Mahatma Phule, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj worked tirelessly to end the caste system and bring equality in society. But as I said, a new kind of social order is coming up in the state. You know what I mean. I will not reiterate. "That (past) social order was different and today's social order is different. Nowadays, things like eligibility (layaki) and higher, lower status are being discussed," taking potshots at Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange over his recent remarks Bhujbal said, quoted by PTI.
Jarange, spearheading the latest round of agitation seeking reservation for the Marathas in government jobs and education, said at a recent rally in Pune that in the absence of quota, his community's youths have no option but to work under "undeserving people". He later withdrew the comments, which invited strong criticism from OBC leaders.
The NCP (Ajit Pawar group) leader, who has said the Marathas should be given reservation without "encroaching" on the existing OBC quota, asserted he was not against community. "I am not against any community and I request all of you not to talk against any community, but for our rights we will have to fight," Bhujbal said.
Jarange, who has engaged in hunger strikes twice since the end of August as a part of his protest, is advocating for reservation for the Maratha community within the OBC category. In the previous month, the state government released a directive instructing relevant officials to provide new Kunbi caste certificates to eligible members of the Maratha community. This move facilitates their access to reservation benefits under the OBC category.
Kunbis, a community linked to agriculture, are categorized under the OBC group in Maharashtra. Bhujbal has objected to issuing Kunbi caste certificates to eligible members of the Maratha community, citing "irregularities" in the process.Open in app