BJP national secretary Pankaja Munde on Saturday said the Maratha community wants concrete action over reservation and not mere promises, and urged the Maharashtra government to hold positive talks with the quota protesters to resolve the stalemate. The former Maharashtra minister was talking to reporters here on the sidelines of her ‘Shivshakti Parikrama Yatra’.
“The Maharashtra government can take a decision on Maratha reservation. It has a plan about how much reservation can be allotted to which community. It should hold discussions with protesters with confidence and courage and try to provide reservation to the Maratha community,” she said.
“If they don’t want to go above the 50 per cent quota cap, then a major decision will have to be taken at the national level. The central government’s problems on this front are different. It faces a similar situation in many states. It will do what it can as per the Constitution,” Ms Munde said.
The Maratha community no longer wants mere promises, they don’t want to be misled, they want concrete action in the form of reservation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader added.
She urged the state government not to make the Maratha and Other Backward Classes (OBC) communities quarrel between themselves.
The state does not want to see the two communities fighting, she said.
She asked the Maratha community members to exert pressure on the government for reservation by holding protests, and said they should not think about ending their lives over the issue.
“…Your fight is useful for the coming generations,” Ms Munde added.
The Maratha quota issue returned to centre stage when the police last week baton-charged a violent mob at Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district after protesters allegedly refused to let authorities shift Manoj Jarange, an activist on hunger strike over the quota issue, to a hospital.
Mr Jarange on Friday warned that he would intensify his ongoing hunger strike from the weekend.
He has asked the government to drop the requirement to provide evidence of genealogy for the Marathas from the Marathwada area if they want to obtain the Kunbi caste certificates and avail of reservation under the OBC category.
The state government on Thursday issued a Government Resolution (GR) saying that Kunbi caste certificates would be issued only after the Maratha community members from the Marathwada region provide genealogical records from the Nizam era. The region was once a part of the Nizam-ruled Hyderabad state.
Kunbis, a community associated with agriculture-related occupations, are grouped under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category and enjoy reservation benefits in education and government jobs.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)