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Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange: Community will teach Mahayuti govt a lesson

Updated on: 11 May,2024 05:18 PM IST  |  Jalna
mid-day online correspondent |

Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange criticised govt for filing charges against nonviolent protestors, vowing Maratha community won't tolerate such behaviour.

Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange: Community will teach Mahayuti govt a lesson

Manoj Jarange/ PTI

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Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange: Community will teach Mahayuti govt a lesson

Quota campaigner Manoj Jarange, known for his attempts to secure reservation for the Maratha community in Maharashtra, has stated that the community will send a strong message to the current Mahayuti government during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. Jarange, speaking from his hamlet in Jalna district, voiced discontent with the government's handling of the reservation issue and treatment of protestors.

Jarange chastised the government for filing criminal charges against nonviolent protestors, vowing that the Maratha community would not tolerate such behaviour. He issued a warning to the state administration, stating that the community would respond at the appropriate moment, PTI reported. 

According to the report, Jarange emphasised the important role of the Maratha community in Maharashtra's political environment, highlighting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's extended campaigning in the state as evidence of their influence.

The Maratha quota activist told PTI, "Why were cases registered against those who staged Rasta Roko (road blockade) peacefully, those who launched hunger strikes, held meetings or rallies during the quota agitation last year? This was the misuse of the home department. The community will not tolerate it. We will teach them a lesson for sure."

"Because of them (state BJP leaders) Modi had a tough time. He had to hold so many rallies and stay put here. This is because the poor Marathas have come together.....This is the fear of our solidarity," he added. 

He recalled the Maratha quota agitation, which escalated in 2023, as well as incidents of police violence against protestors. Despite certain concessions from the government, such as the issuance of caste cards, Jarange maintained that the community's demand for OBC reservation remained unsatisfied, the PTI report added. 

"Even a leaf cannot move in Maharashtra (without Marathas). This is why Modi saheb has to struggle. And some BJP leaders are responsible for this. Because of them, Modi had a tough time. He has to hold so many meetings. The community, which comprises 28 per cent of the population, will take some decision at an appropriate time," he said.

The PTI report stated that Jarange condemned both the incumbent Mahayuti government and the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi for failing to address the community's concerns. He intimated that if their demands were not granted, the community would field candidates for all 288 assembly seats in the forthcoming state elections.

"Injustice has been done to the community not only by the Mahayuti but also by the Maha Vikas Aghadi. It is a fact that there is anger. False cases have been registered (against community members), an SIT has been formed, attacks were engineered, and reservation under the OBC quota was not given," Maratha quota activist said. 

"If the demands are not met, the Maratha community will field candidates in all 288 assembly seats in the state elections due later this year, and they will represent all the communities," the activist told PTI.

The Maratha community intends to assemble a large gathering after the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 results are released, indicating a possible resumption of the unrest. Jarange's claim for reservation under the OBC quota draws opposition from the OBC community, the report added. 

The ongoing five-phase polling in Maharashtra includes Jalna district, where the Maratha community's sentiments will likely influence voter turnout and political dynamics.

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