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Opposition Parties Hold Shinde Government Responsible for OBC-Maratha Rift

Opposition Parties Hold Shinde Government Responsible for OBC-Maratha Rift          

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In Mumbai on Thursday, opposition parties in Maharashtra warned the Eknath Shinde government about the escalating tensions between the Maratha community and OBCs. Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar and Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar met with OBC leaders who have been on an indefinite fast for the past eight days, protesting the inclusion of the Maratha community in the OBC category. NCP founder Sharad Pawar emphasized that the Shinde government must resolve both issues.

OBC activists Prof. Lakshman Hake and Navnath Waghmare have been fasting indefinitely in Wadi Godri village, Jalna District, demanding that the OBC quota not be disrupted while providing reservations to the Marathas. Their protest follows Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange’s demands for OBC reservation for Marathas as Kunbis, an agrarian group classified as OBC. Wadettiwar, the Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, discussed the issue with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde over the phone. Shinde assured Wadettiwar that the government would send a delegation to Jalna district.

Wadettiwar expressed his commitment to the OBC community, criticizing the government’s policies for potentially undermining their reservation. He called on the government to explain why the OBC reservation is being jeopardized, noting the growing hostility between the communities and the anger among the people. He urged the chief minister to make a prompt decision on the matter. An official from the Chief Minister’s Office confirmed that a delegation of cabinet ministers would meet the OBC activists on Friday to persuade them to end their agitation.

VBA chief Prakash Ambedkar urged the government to address the issue seriously, emphasizing the need for social harmony in the state. He criticized the government’s inaction in maintaining social cohesion. Sharad Pawar called for the Centre’s intervention, suggesting that laws might need to be amended and policies changed at both the Union and state levels. He stressed the importance of preventing social tension and criticized the Centre for being a passive observer, urging proactive measures to address the communities’ demands.

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