Maharashtra minister Wadettiwar plans separate OBC front

Amid a row over OBC reservation in local body elections, senior Congress leader and Maharashtra minister Vijay Wadettiwar is planning to launch a separate front to raise effectively issues related to the other backward classes.Maharashtra politics is currently in a state of ferment after the Supreme Court ordered the cancellation of the local body elections to OBC seats, prompting political parties to rush into damage control mode.


PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 04-01-2022 15:35 IST | Created: 04-01-2022 15:27 IST
Maharashtra minister Wadettiwar plans separate OBC front
Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar. Photo/ANI Image Credit: ANI
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Amid a row over OBC reservation in local body elections, senior Congress leader and Maharashtra minister Vijay Wadettiwar is planning to launch a separate front to raise effectively issues related to the other backward classes.

Maharashtra politics is currently in a state of ferment after the Supreme Court ordered the cancellation of the local body elections to OBC seats, prompting political parties to rush into damage control mode. ''Several leaders from the OBC community have approached me to lead a separate front to effectively raise issues of the backward classes who have to get their rightful due in the society,'' Wadettiwar, the Minister of Disaster Management & OBC Welfare, Relief & Rehabilitation in the Maharashtra government told PTI.

Wadettiwar, a former Leader of the Congress Legislature Party, had planned a meeting of the proposed front on Wednesday in Mumbai followed by a show of strength in Aurangabad, but both the events have been postponed against the backdrop of the resurgence in COVID-19 cases in the state. He said there were plans to invite Rahul Gandhi for the Aurangabad rally.

Sources close to the minister said that the Congress ranked fourth in the state when it came to the support of the dominant Maratha community which has held sway over politics in Maharashtra since the formation of the state in 1960.

Currently, the Sharad Pawar-led NCP is considered to enjoy the support of the majority of the Maratha community that constitutes 32 percent of the state's population, followed by the Shiv Sena, BJP, and the Congress. The BJP carved a niche for itself by aggressively pursuing the OBC communities that saw the rise of leaders such as Gopinath Munde, N S Farande, and Anna Dange who laid the foundation of the party in the state.

Prominent OBC leaders in the state include Chhagan Bhujbal, Jitendra Avhad, Dhananjay Munde (NCP), Nana Patole, Wadettiwar (Congress) and Pankaja Munde, Bhagwat Karad, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Ramesh Karad, Gopichand Padalkar (BJP).

While Bhujbal has been leading the cause of OBC reservation through his organization – Samata Parishad it remains to be seen what shape the Wadettiwar-backed front takes in the future.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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