Maratha quota: Jarange-Patil resumes hunger strike as deadline to govt passes | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Maratha quota: Jarange-Patil resumes hunger strike as deadline to govt passes

Oct 25, 2023 12:48 PM IST

Jarange-Patil vowed not to even have water or any medical treatment and said politicians, especially the elected ones, would not be allowed to enter villages until the reservation was granted

Activist Manoj Jarange-Patil resumed his hunger strike on Wednesday at Antarwali Sarati in Maharastra’s Jalna district a day after his 40-day deadline to the Maharashtra government for the reservation to all Marathas passed.

Activist Manoj Jarange-Patil . (HT PHOTO)
Activist Manoj Jarange-Patil . (HT PHOTO)

People aware of the matter said state minister Girish Mahajan phoned to request the activist to call off the agitation after Jarange-Patil on Sunday asked the government to announce the reservation by Tuesday. The government has maintained it needs time for the reservation, which stands legal scrutiny, while promising to accede to Jarange-Patil’s demand.

Jarange-Patil has insisted on continuing his agitation until the quota was announced. Mahajan warned Jarange-Patil against haste and said it would again mar attempts to provide the quota.

Jarange-Patil questioned the government for going back on its word. “You asked for 30 days. We gave you 41 days. What is the issue now? Why has the government failed in keeping its word and what is wrong if we resume our agitation.” He expressed dismay over the delay in withdrawing the cases lodged against Marathas during their protest in September.

Jarange-Patil vowed not to even have water or any medical treatment and said politicians, especially the elected ones, would not be allowed to enter villages across the state until the reservation was granted.

He ended his previous 17-day hunger strike on September 14 in the presence of chief minister Eknath Shinde after an assurance that the government would take a call on the matter in 30 days.

Jarange-Patil has been demanding that all Marathas be given Kunbi caste certificates to enable them to get the quota. Kunbi, a sub-Maratha caste, has a quota in government jobs and education under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category.

The state government granted 16% reservation to the community in 2018 after protests, acceding to the decades-old Maratha demand. The Bombay high court slashed the quota to 13% in jobs and 12% in education before the Supreme Court In 2021 quashed the move.

The police lathi charge in Jalna at the site of Patil’s hunger on September 1 fuelled the agitation for the OBC status of Marathas. Shinde later announced that Marathas from central Maharashtra could get quota under the OBC category if they produce certificates classifying them as Kunbi.

The state government last month appointed retired judge Sandeep Shinde-led committee to explore modalities of the reservation. The Maratha groups insisted they wanted reservations without any stipulation amid concerns among Kunbi and other OBC groups.

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