Sharad Pawar Urges Government Action on Maratha-OBC Quota Conflict

NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar urged the Centre to take decisive action on the Maratha and OBC quota conflict in Maharashtra. He emphasized the need for legislation and policy changes, warning against social tension. Pawar's comments come amidst ongoing protests and a new reservation bill passed for the Maratha community.

PTI | Pune | Updated: 20-06-2024 12:22 IST | Created: 20-06-2024 12:22 IST
Sharad Pawar Urges Government Action on Maratha-OBC Quota Conflict
Sharad Pawar
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NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said the Centre cannot be a mere spectator and it should take the lead to resolve issues pertaining to the quota demand by the Maratha community and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

Asked about the increasing Maratha-OBC conflict over the reservation issue in Maharashtra, Pawar said there is only one solution that the Centre should take the lead to resolve it and added there is a need for amendments in law and the state and Centre's policies.

The former Union minister was speaking to reporters at Baramati in Maharashtra's Pune district.

In February this year, the Maharashtra legislature unanimously passed a bill granting a separate 10 per cent reservation in education and jobs to the Maratha community under a separate category.

However, the community has been demanding quota under the OBC grouping.

Activist Manoj Jarange has been demanding implementation of the draft notification that recognises Kunbis as "sage soyare" (blood relatives) of Maratha community members and also seeking a law to identify Kunbis as Marathas.

Kunbi, an agrarian group, falls under the OBC category, and Jarange has been demanding that Kunbi certificates be issued to all Marathas, thus making them eligible for quota in government jobs and education.

Amid the Maratha reservation demand, two OBC activists have been sitting on a fast in Jalna district since last week, seeking an assurance from the government that the existing quota for the Other Backward Classes will not be disturbed.

Pawar said, ''A change in policies of the state and central governments will have to be made.'' ''The governments, specially the Centre, should take the lead in addressing demands of both the communities and ensure the agitation does not cross a limit and that social tension should not take place. The governments cannot be a mere spectator on the issue,'' he said.

The Centre should pay attention to the issues raised by both the communities (OBC and Maratha) and try to come up with a solution, the former state chief minister said. ''We will be insisting on this issue, and that the government should intervene. In Parliament, we had put forth the same stance. We will talk to the other opposition parties and try to take a collective stand on the issue,'' he said. Pawar said the opposition will not bring politics into this issue if the government takes positive steps. ''We will cooperate to reduce social tension, but if they (government) do nothing, then we will unite all the parties and decide collectively on the future course of action,'' he stated.

On his visits to various villages in the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency since last week and the issues related to farmers, Pawar said he has written a letter to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde seeking a meeting to discuss the issues raised by the people. ''I have requested him (CM) to convene a meeting in Mumbai over these issues. I will also talk to him over phone. I will present all the issues related to farmers, water scarcity, milk prices and irrigation projects that I encountered during my visits to this region,'' he said.

Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule was recently elected from the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency for a fourth term.

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

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