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OBC Quota Stir Enters 11th Day In Nagpur, Dhangar Community Blocks Pune-Satara Highway For Nomadic Tribe Demand

The OBC quota stir entered its 11th day in Nagpur as the Dhangar community resorted to road blockade on Pune-Satara highway to push for reservation from among the Nomadic Tribe quota. Sambhaji Maharaj, speaking from Kolhapur, appealed to the government to make the condition clear stating that Maratha quota will not be possible without constitutional amendment.

The OBC Mahasangh opposed the government’s decision to grant Kunbi caste certificates to all Marathas. Their agitation against the decision entered the 11th day on Wednesday. The agitation has started spreading in other districts of Vidarbha region also. At Chandrapur, the local leader of OBC Mahasangh on Wednesday burnt the government decision to grant Kunbi certificates to Marathas while the women’s wing shouted slogans against Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar.

National OBC Mahasangh student leader Ravindra Tonge has resorted to fast since September 11 at Chandrapur. There are a total of 423 castes clubbed as other backward classes. Hence, no other castes should be included under the class, he said.

While the OBCs are opposing the inclusion of Martha under the class, the Dhangar community, on the other hand, has started pushing for its demand for inclusion under the Nomadic Tribe class. On Wednesday thousands of activists from the Dhangar community blocked the Satara-Pune highway for over four hours to show their solidarity towards the demand for quota. The police diverted the traffic via other routes and avoided untowards incident.

“We expect that our demands would be resolved by discussions. But, the agitation is to make the government aware about strong emotions in the community around the issue and that any further delay can worsen the problem. The government should immediately call a meeting else, we shall raise an agitation like the Jat agitation,” said BJP MLA Gopichand Padalkar.

He also added that he is “Dhangar first and BJP MLA later.”

In a statement released today, he demanded that the government should reappoint Adv Kumbhakoni and ensure that the hearing in courts resume on a daily basis. He also reiterated the community’s demands related to cooperative corporation, implementation on previously announced schemes, legislation for protection of shepherds, protection of grazing grounds for sheep etc.

While the OBC and Dhangar communities intensified their agitation, Maratha leader Sambhaji Raje Bhosale, who is also the descendent of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, on Wednesday opined that there doesn’t seem any way forward on Maratha quota issue without constitutional amendment.

Virtually rejecting the government decision of granting Kunbi certificates to Marathas, Sabhaji Raje said, “Resolution of Maratha quota issue seems impossible without constitutional amendment. The Government will have to prove the backwardness of the community and send a report to the centre. Hence, the government should give details as to how they plan to move forward over the issue,” he said while interacting with the media at Kolhapur.

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