Response to Jarange-Patil’s call for rasta roko ‘lukewarm’ | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Response to Jarange-Patil’s call for rasta roko ‘lukewarm’

Feb 25, 2024 07:32 AM IST

Protestors in Maharashtra demand Maratha reservation within OBC quota, leading to 'rasta roko' agitation. Activist plans meeting to decide next steps.

Mumbai: Responding to a call by Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange-Patil, protestors staged a ‘rasta roko’ agitation by blocking roads at several places in the state on Saturday, demanding reservation for the community within the Other Backward Classes (OBC) quota. Police registered 49 cases against protestors, said police officials, although they described the response to Patil’s call as “lukewarm”. The activist is scheduled to hold a meeting with his associates in Antarvali Sarati village in Jalna district on Sunday to decide the future course of action.

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The state government has already passed a legislation giving 10 per cent reservation to Marathas. But Jarange-Patil wants reservation for Marathas within the OBC quota. He also wants the government to implement its proposal of providing Kunbi caste certificates to relatives (by blood or by marriage) of Marathas who have already been given such certificates, so they can avail reservation benefits under the OBC category. But the government has received 7 lakh suggestions and objections to this proposal, and chief minister Eknath Shinde has said a final decision would be taken only after all the responses are considered.

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Jarange-Patil had earlier asked his supporters to protest twice a day beginning Saturday, but he has scaled it down due to examinations, the ongoing marriage season and other religious functions. Addressing a press conference on Saturday, he accused a person close to CM Shinde and health minister Tanaji Sawant of plotting against him and urged them to stop doing so. Hinting at Shinde and the two deputy chief ministers, Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, he said that the state had three kings, but none had sympathy. He also said that Marathas must not keep quiet and intensify the battle for reservation.

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