Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, who is a descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, on Sunday announced a date for a statewide agitation demanding reservation in education and jobs for the Maratha community. Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati said a protest will be launched from the memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji in Kolhapur in Maharashtra on June 16.
“I will tour the entire state for the quota demand,” Sambhajiraje said while speaking at the Raigad Fort after paying homage to Shivaji on the anniversary of his coronation as “Chhatrapati” in 1674.
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The BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP said Marathas are not bothered about politics as he also criticised the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government as well as his own party for indulging in a “political blame game” after the Supreme Court struck down the quota in jobs and admissions to Marathas last month. “We should know what is the road ahead and how to restore the quota for the community in education and jobs,” the member of Parliament said.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led state government should do whatever in its capacity to ensure that the Maratha community gets justice, he also said.
Earlier in the day, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar said that the Maharashtra government is making “all possible efforts” to grant reservation to Marathas, which was struck down by the Supreme Court in May, without disturbing the existing quotas of other communities.
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“On this occasion, I would like to assure the people, especially those from the Maratha community, that the MVA government is making efforts to ensure that Marathas get reservation without disturbing quotas of other communities,” Pawar told reporters in Pune on the sidelines of “Shiv Swarajya Din”.
He said a delegation led by chief minister Uddhav Thackeray met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari on the Maratha quota issue.
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Ajit Pawar’s comments came two days after a committee, headed by retired high court judge justice Dilip Bhosale, recommended in its report that the Maharashtra government should file a review petition against the top court’s decision.
The Supreme Court on May 5 struck down the Maharashtra law granting quota to the Maratha community in education and government jobs, saying it was “unconstitutional”. A week after the top court quashed the reservation to the Maratha community, the state government put them in the 10% Economically Weak Section (EWS) quota to accommodate over 6,000 youth from the community into government service.
(With PTI inputs)