Activist Jarange says OBC leaders should focus on ST quota for Dhangars | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Activist Jarange says OBC leaders should focus on ST quota for Dhangars

Jun 17, 2024 04:29 PM IST

The activist claimed that the Maratha community would support the Dhangar community's fight for ST status and that the OBC leaders should support Marathas.

Activist Manoj Jarange said on Monday that OBC leaders should work towards gaining reservation for the Dhangar community as a Scheduled Tribe (ST) rather than criticising him for his demand for reservation for the Maratha community.

Jarange said that OBC leaders are "not our enemies",
Jarange said that OBC leaders are "not our enemies",

Jarange told PTI that OBC leaders are "not our enemies" and Marathas would support the demand for reservation to the Dhangar (shepherd) community under the ST category.

Read more: Manoj Jarange-Patil breaks hunger strike, gives govt a month to meet demands

Jarange had been on a fast for six days, until June 13, when he announced a deadline of one month for the Maharashtra government to accept the community's demands.

During his fast at his native village Antarwali Sarati in Jalna district, he also discussed the matter of reservation with Maharashtra minister and member of Maratha quota sub-committee Shambhuraj Desai and Shiv Sena MP Sandipan Bhumare, according to PTI.

Reservation for all Marathas within the OBC category has been opposed by many OBC leaders. According to a PTI report, OBC activists Laxman Hake and Navnath Waghmare are also fasting in protest of the potential Maratha inclusion in the OBC quota.

Read more: Cong to face consequences in Maharashtra polls for opposing interests of Marathas: Jarange

The Maharashtra legislative assembly, passed a bill in February, providing 10 per cent reservation for the Marathas in education and government jobs under a separate category.

Manoj Jarange has been demanding that a draft notification be implemented that recognises Kunbis as the “sage soyare” (blood relatives) of the Marathas, thus making it possible by law to identify all Kunbis as Marathas.

Kunbis are an agrarian group that come under the OBC category, and Jarange has been demanding that Kunbi certificates be issued to all Marathas, thus making them part of the OBC reservation quota.

While undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar on Monday, Jarange told PTI reporters that, "The OBC leaders are not our enemies. I have not spoken anything against them."

"Instead of criticising and talking about the Maratha quota, they should spend their energy to get reservation for the Dhangar community under the ST category. The Maratha community will also stand firmly with them," he said.

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In response to OBC leaders contesting the upcoming assembly elections, he said, according to PTI, that in a democracy anyone can contest elections.

"Instead of discussing who will win and who will lose, they should work and see how the children of their Dhangar community will get educated. Today they have to graze the cattle and work in farms," he said.

"Only 10-20 persons from every community will move forward if they join politics. But we should think about how our children will get educated. When they (OBC leaders) say that their political existence will come to an end, it means the careers of only 5-10 persons will end," he added.

(with inputs from PTI)

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