Subscription Subscription
Home > News > Opinion News > Article > Over to Parliament

Over to Parliament

Updated on: 21 April,2024 05:17 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dharmendra Jore |

The SC rejects Adivasi status for Dhangar community in Maharashtra; Lok Sabha campaign gets one more issue

Over to Parliament

Ramdas Athawale, Mahadev Jankar and Sadabhau Khot during an election campaign rally in Akluj in 2019. Pic/Getty Images

Dharmendra JoreVarious communities in Maharashtra have been demanding a quota. The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the Bombay High Court’s order by rejecting a plea to include the Dhangar community in the Scheduled Tribes (STs). The verdict has come when the ruling alliance and opposition bloc are trying to woo the Dhangars, among other communities, that influence the Lok Sabha results depending on their respective strength. Cropping up of the Dhangar issue while the Maratha reservation stir threatens to impact the ongoing elections, does not augur well for the ruling dispensation because the Opposition will hold the NDA responsible. The Opposition may promise to fulfill the demand, if voted to power in Parliament (which has powers to decide such matters), but it will have to be cautious because it cannot afford to upset STs, who are opposed to Dhangar’s demand for Adivasi status; exactly the same way, the OBCs don’t want Marathas to share their quota. All parties will have to walk a tightrope in this regard.

With political realignment in the state, the BJP needed friends of varied influence. It has fielded Dhangar community’s well-known leader Mahadev Jankar in Parbhani as the NDA candidate, though his first choice was Madha. Before BJP persuaded him, Sharad Pawar (NCP-SP) had attempted to take Jankar in the MVA, because of the Dhangar influence in certain pockets of western Maharashtra and Marathwada. It is said that to make up for the loss, Pawar has managed to have another Dhangar leader Uttam Jankar and a few others, on his side. 

A decade ago, Mahadev Jankar, as NDA candidate, had unsuccessfully contested against Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule in Baramati, but returned with a good vote share. Later, he served in Devendra Fadnavis cabinet for five years, but later seemed to be falling out. Devendra Fadnavis latched on to his former minister last month and offered him a seat. To show that he will not leave a stone unturned to ensure smaller partner’s better performance, PM Narendra Modi addressed a campaign rally for Jankar in Parbhani on Saturday. Modi connected with ally’s support base, saying that Jankar was his younger brother. Like previous elections, Jankar is contesting on the election symbol “whistle” that has been allotted to his party Rashtriya Samaj Paksha.

On the Maratha front, quota activist Manoj Jarange Patil has taken a break after receiving a mixed reaction from the community. But he has promised yet another protest after the Lok Sabha elections. He wants an OBC status for Marathas, because he feels that the independent quota, like the previous law, will get scrapped in the courts. There are various predictions about the Maratha quota’s possible impact on the elections. In addition to the Maratha sentiment, the Dhangar factor is also bound to provide some spice for caste-specific “covert” campaigns.

Dharmendra Jore is political editor, mid-day. He tweets @dharmendrajore
Send your feedback to

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK