Chhagan Bhujbal, a two-time deputy chief minister, is taking on Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange-Patil, positioning himself as an OBC leader. Bhujbal is receiving support from both his party boss Ajit Pawar and Devendra Fadnavis, as the ruling alliance seeks to maintain support from both Marathas and OBCs. The opposition believes there is a match-fixing between the ruling alliance leaders. The deadline set by Jarange-Patil for the government to decide on Marathas' inclusion in the OBC category is December 24, and both communities are preparing for a showdown. Some BJP leaders think that Jarange-Patil's agitation will lose steam as his demand for all Marathas to be given Kunbi caste certificates is legally untenable. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who was recovering from dengue, quickly made a recovery and resumed his political activities. Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has ruled out shifting to national politics and may be back as chief minister soon, depending on the Supreme Court's ruling on a disqualification petition against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
A public announcement by former MP Nilesh Rane that he was retiring from active politics brought the issue to the fore two weeks ago. Eyebrows were raised in political circles, as the reason for Rane’s pique was his known differences with Sindhudurg’s guardian minister and BJP leader Ravindra Chavan