Shiv Sena backs reservation for Marathas
The Shiv Sena came out in support of the demand that the Maratha community be included in the OBC category.Updated: Sep 19, 2008, 16:50 IST
The Shiv Sena on Friday came out in support of the demand that the Maratha community be included in the OBC category.
Maratha is considered to be the "ruling caste" of the state, yet demand for inclusion in OBCs has been gaining strength off late.
Sena mouthpiece 'Saamana' in today's editorial said, "As there are super-rich Marathas, there are also those who are driven to suicide because of the poverty....Sena have always been of the view that poor from all communities should get benefit of reservations."
Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had recently assured a section of Maratha leaders that their demand would be dealt with sympathetically.
Referring to NCP leader Arun Gujarathi's recent statement that "poor among the Marathas should be included in OBC category", the editorial said, "There need not be two opinions on this."
However, the editorial cautions that the issue of granting OBC status to Marathas should not divide the state.
"Mali community has already opposed inclusion of Marathas in OBCs. In Rajasthan, the state was on the boil due to the Meena-Gujjar strife. It should not be re-enacted in Maharashtra," it said.
The editorial also stated that while Kunbi community is a part of the Marathas, it has been granted OBC status, but Marathas have been kept out of the reservation.
The edit refers to stated stand of Sunil Pawar, a leader of Maratha Mahasangh, that reservations should be on the basis of financial condition and not caste.
"This position is important from the viewpoint of maintaining solidarity of Maharashtrian society," the editorial said.