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Maharashtra govt moots draft ordinance addressing Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange's demands

Updated on: 27 January,2024 07:24 AM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

Maharashtra government responded to Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange's requests by sending a delegation with a draft ordinance to resolve his concerns.

Maharashtra govt moots draft ordinance addressing Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange's demands

Maratha activist Manoj Jarange Patil/ /Sayyed Sameer Abedi

The Maharashtra government has responded to the requests of Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange who has temporarily paused his march near Mumbai. After consulting with officials, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde dispatched a delegation with a draft ordinance to visit Jarange and resolve his concerns, per a PTI report. 

According to the report, Jarange, along with thousands of supporters had planned to launch a hunger strike in Mumbai. However, he issued a new demand, requesting that the government change its free education policy to include all Marathas until reservation benefits are available to the entire community.

Jarange had on Friday said that if their requests were not granted by the end of the day, the activist and his supporters would march to Azad Maidan in Mumbai to protest. In a rally in Navi Mumbai, Jarange declared that he would stay there for the day but threatened to move to Mumbai if an ordinance addressing his requests was not issued.

Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange, aged 40, said, "I am taking a step backwards. If an ordinance (to meet his slew of demands) is not promulgated, I will come to Mumbai." In his statement on Friday, he also said that he would "decide on going to Azad Maidan" on Saturday at noon.

"Once I set out, there will be no turning back," the activist warned.

Per the PTI report, Jarange emphasised the importance of expanding the free education policy to encompass boys and all Marathas, from kindergarten to post-graduation, till the community receives reservation privileges. He also requested information on the Kunbi certificates granted by the government, a demand related to Marathas falling under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

The activist urged that government jobs be reserved for Marathas, as well as the withdrawal of proceedings against Maratha activists involved in quota protests.

"The government has told me that 54 lakh Kunbi records (records showing that a Maratha person/family belongs to the Kunbi community) have been found, of which 37 lakh certificates have been given. Who are these people? We need data," he had said. He added, "More than two crore Marathas will get OBC certificates after Kunbi records are found."

The administration has been in talks with Jarange, and a team of senior Mumbai police officials met with him to discuss the scheduled demonstration. Despite police suggestions of alternate locations for the rally, Jarange has insisted on Azad Maidan.

The proposed ordinance seeks to address the activist's concerns while preventing further escalation of the situation. The Maharashtra government had previously faced issues after the Supreme Court overturned the reservation ordinance for the Maratha minority in 2021.

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