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Maratha quota issue: Why do you need more time, Manoj Jarange asks govt

Updated on: 02 November,2023 05:48 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Agencies |

All-party meeting chaired by CM Eknath Shinde passes resolution asking the activist to call off his hunger fast for Maratha quota

Maratha quota issue: Why do you need more time, Manoj Jarange asks govt

Manoj Jarange is on a fast in his hometown. File pic/PTI

Leaders at an all-party meeting on the Maratha quota issue chaired by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday passed a resolution asking activist Manoj Jarange to call off his indefinite fast, but he refused to relent asking why the government needed more time to provide reservation to the Marathas.

The state government should make it clear that it wanted to give reservation to the entire community, Jarange said, warning that he would stop drinking water from Wednesday evening. The government was in favour of granting reservation to the Marathas without tampering with the existing quotas of other communities, chief minister Shinde said after the meeting.

No violence on Wednesday

While no major incident of violence was reported in the state during the day, as many as 141 cases have been registered so far in connection with the violence during the Maratha quota agitation and 168 people arrested, Director General of Police Rajnish Seth said. Curfew imposed in parts of central Maharashtra’s Beed district following violence on Monday was lifted, but prohibitory orders were still in force and Internet services remained suspended.

The agitation intensified after Jarange started an indefinite hunger strike to press the quota demand—for the second time since August -- at his native village Antarwali Sarati in Jalna district on October 25. After the all-party meeting in Mumbai, chief minister Shinde said a resolution was passed asking Jarange to call off his fast. The government needs time for legal modalities to implement the reservation and Jarange should cooperate, he said.

The resolution was signed by Shinde, deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, NCP president Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anil Parab, Leader of Opposition in the assembly Vijay Wadettiwar (of Congress) and LoP in the legislative council Ambadas Danve, among others. In his reaction after the all-party meeting ended, Jarange made it clear that he was in no mood to relent.

“The government says they want time. They should tell us how much time it wants and also tell us what the problem is in giving reservation to the Maratha community.... They should tell what they are going to do in detail,” he said at the fast venue.

‘Will stop drinking water’

“The government should tell why it needs time and whether they are ready to give reservation to the entire Maratha community. Then Marathas will think about it,” he added. “The agitation will not stop and I will stop taking water from  this evening. They should come and talk till I can speak,” he warned. Jarange had earlier sat on an indefinite fast in the last week of August and called it off on September 14 after CM Shinde assured to look into the quota demand. At that time, Jarange had set a deadline of 40 days.

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday published an order asking officials to issue fresh Kunbi caste certificates to eligible Maratha community members from Marathwada, paving the way for them to avail reservation benefits under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category. However, Jarange opposed the move saying the entire Maratha community should be given reservation. “It (the government order) is not acceptable and the government should cancel it,” he said.

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