Maratha quota: Manoj Jarange reaffirms decision to start indefinite fast

Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange on Sunday reaffirmed his decision to continue his indefinite fast demanding that a special session of the Maharashtra legislature be convened to convert the draft notification on `blood relatives` of Kunbi Marathas into a law, reported the PTI.

According to the PTI, Manoj Jarange on Saturday launched his agitation at his native Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district of Maharashtra. This is the fourth time in less than a year that he has been observing a hunger strike demanding the inclusion of the Maratha community under the OBC (other backward caste) grouping.

Manoj Jarange (40) had earlier led a massive march to Mumbai, which culminated on its borders on January 26.

He went back after Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde showed him a draft notification, which stated that `sage soyre` or blood relatives of a Maratha person with records to show he belongs to the Kunbi community would also be recognised as Kunbi, an agrarian community that enjoys OBC quota.

“The government should convene a special session of the state legislature in two days and bring legislation concerning `sage soyare` (blood relatives). The government must issue (OBC) caste certificates to 57 lakh people who possess Kunbi records,” he had said on Saturday, as per the PTI.

The activist remained steadfast on Sunday with his decision to go ahead with the fast.

He has also demanded that cases registered against protesters from the Maratha community across the state be withdrawn immediately.

Earlier, Manoj Jarange had on Thursday said that he will “challenge Mandal commission” if Maharashtra minister and OBC leader Chhagan Bhujbal created hurdles in the way of reservation for the Maratha community, reported the PTI.

Notably, reservation for the OBC communities in education and government jobs was implemented for the first time at the national level on the basis of the Mandal commission`s report some three decades ago, as per the PTI.

“State food and civil supplies minister and OBC leader Chhagan Bhujbal has created problems for the Maratha reservation thrice. He should stop it,” Manoj Jarange had said.

Chhagan Bhujbal has been opposing the state government`s decision to facilitate grant of Kunbi certificates to Marathas, which was Manoj Jarange`s demand.

(with PTI inputs)

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