OBC leaders Prakash Shendge and Babanrao Taywade on Tuesday warned the government of intense street agitation if reservation is granted to Marathas under OBC category by issuing Kunbi caste certificates to all Marathas. The leaders said they would approach the court if such a decision was taken by the government.
The leaders also announced that they will hold joint OBC Elgar rallies after Diwali (on November 17) which will be attended by OBC leaders from across the country.
A day after Chhagan Bhujbal took to task the state government over its handling of the Maratha quota stir, and questioning its ‘mollycoddling’ of Maratha activists, a meeting of prominent OBC leaders of the state was held today at his residence on Tuesday.
Later in the day, a delegation of OBC leaders also met Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the Sahyadri guest house in Mumbai and held a discussion for over 45 minutes during which the community laid down their concerns.
After the meeting, while warning of an intense protest across the state, Prakash Shendge said that lakhs of OBC community members will hit the street and the community would approach the court if the Maratha community was given reservation under OBC quota.
“We are not against increasing the EWS quota and giving reservation to Marathas under it. But we are totally opposed to giving Kunbi certificates (under OBC) to all Marathas. We won’t tolerate all this, and will soon hit the streets. And if needed, we will also go to court,” OBC leader Prakash Shendge said.
He also raised objections on the retired justice Shinde committee that was formed to issue Kunbi caste certificates to Marathas. “The committee has no constitutional right to give Kunbi certificates to anyone. It is not a backward class commission to give anyone that status. Marathas have never been backward and it has been proven several times,” Shendge said.
Supporting Bhujbal’s statement, OBC leader Shendge agreed with Bhujbal’s demand over not including Marathas under OBCs. He announced that the community will organise OBC Elgar rallies after Diwali for which OBC leaders across the country will be invited.
Warning of agitation on the streets after Diwali, Shendge said, “We are waiting for Diwali festivities to conclude, after which we hold OBC Elgar rallies in the state. They will be followed by statewide agitation against the blanket reservation to Marathas from OBC quota.”
Several OBC leaders in the state, including NCP leader and minister Chhagan Bhujbal, have also supported non-allotment of Kunbi certificates to Marathas.
To press for the community’s demands, the first rally will be held in Jalna’s Ambad where Maratha protester Manoj Jarange-Patil had sat on fast-unto-death demanding Kunbi (OBC) certificate for Marathas. The second rally will be held at Hingoli on November 26 and third will be held in Yavatmal.
The rallies will be held by organisations representing all castes within OBCs and will be joined by political leaders of all parties, both ruling and opposition.
Prakash Shendge said that Tejashwi Yadav, and all OBC leaders in the country will be invited to the event in Hingoli. Shendge also appealed to all OBC communities to come to Maharashtra to help the community.