Maharashtra Favours Maratha Quota, Says Chief Minister Eknath Shinde After All-Party Meet

Maharashtra Favours Maratha Quota, Says Eknath Shinde After All-Party Meet

Marathas should observe restraint, said Eknath Shinde. (File)


The Maharashtra government is in favour of the Maratha quota, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said today after an all-party meeting called by his government to discuss the fresh wave of statewide protests.

At the all-party meeting, the leaders also passed a resolution urging pro-quota activist Manoj Jarange Patil to call off his indefinite fast. It was signed by Mr Shinde, his deputy Devendra Fadnavis, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray camp leader Anil Parab and the Leader of Opposition of the two legislative houses.

Marathas should observe restraint as the government needs time for legal modalities to implement the reservation, the Chief Minister said, and asked Mr Jarange to cooperate with the government in ensuring quota for the Marathas.

Mr Patil told NDTV this morning that they are demanding inclusion under the Kunbi caste, and not any separate quota. Marathas belong to the Kunbi caste, which comes under Other Backward Classes (OBC) category, he asserted.

The Shinde government had formed a committee led by a retired judge to look into this. The committee has said in its report that after examining the documents of a lakh people, about 11,530 Marathas were found to have documents of being Kunbi.

Incidents of violence was reported from many parts of the state in the last few days and the Chief Minister asked urged political parties to avoid any activity that would worsen the situation.

State-run bus services are suspended in five districts in the Marathawada region while gatherings were banned in Beed where houses of politicians were set on fire by angry protesters.

The Maharashtra government has also asked officials to issue fresh Kunbi caste certificates to eligible Maratha community members, which will help them avail reservation benefits under the OBC category.

Mr Patil, who has been on an indefinite hunger strike since October 25, had threatened to stop drinking water from Wednesday evening if the “complete” quota was not granted to the Maratha community.

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