Jarange-Patil says govt cheated him, wants reservation in OBC quota | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Jarange-Patil says govt cheated him, wants reservation in OBC quota

Feb 21, 2024 07:08 AM IST

Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange-Patil welcomes government's reservation bill but insists on OBC quota benefits, doubting legal validity.

MUMBAI: Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange-Patil, whose agitation forced the government to convene a special legislature session and hurriedly pass a bill to give reservation to Marathas, has welcomed the move but insisted on a quota in the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category. He alleged that the government had “cheated” him and expressed doubts whether the bill would pass legal scrutiny. Insisting that the government immediately implement the decision to give OBC quota benefits to the relatives of those who have already obtained Kunbi caste certificates, Jarange-Patil has called a meeting of Maratha outfits on Wednesday to decide his future course of action.

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The activist, who has been on a hunger strike for the past ten days to seek immediate implementation of the government’s promises to him, said that he wanted reservation from the OBC quota rather than a special reservation for Marathas. “We have doubts whether the legislation passed on Tuesday will stand in a court of law if challenged,” he said. “The reservation will last till the elections are over and then be struck down.”

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Jarange, who began his latest agitation on February 10, has staged a series of protests earlier, including his march to Mumbai in January. In January, the government issued a notification to include the word ‘sage soyre’ (relatives by blood relations or through same-caste marriages) in order to give OBC quota benefits to relatives. While the government received 600,000 objections and suggestions to its proposal, Jarange-Patil demanded immediate implementation of the notification.

Speaking in the assembly on Tuesday, chief minister Eknath Shinde said the process of scrutinising citizens’ responses to the notification was on, following which the government would take a decision on giving OBC benefits to the relatives of Kunbi certificate-holders. Shinde also urged Jarange-Patil to wait till the government completed the process and took a decision.

Jarange-Patil, however, was not impressed and announced that he would stop taking medicines (as his health condition deteriorated during the fast, the government ordered him to be treated). “I am removing the saline (intravenous drip),” he said. “I don’t have any faith in the government.”

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