Cong to face consequences in Maharashtra polls for opposing interests of Marathas: Jarange

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Manoj Jarange Patil Maratha Quota Maratha reservation

Manoj Jarange Patil

Jalna: Quota activist Manoj Jarange on Monday claimed the Congress was speaking against the interests of the Maratha community and would face consequences in the Maharashtra assembly polls due later this year.

Speaking to reporters on the third day of his indefinite fast at Antarwali Sarathi village in Jalna, Jarange reiterated his demand for implementation of the draft notification that recognises Kunbis as "sage soyare" (blood relatives) of Maratha community members and sought a law to identify Kunbis as Marathas.

Newly-elected Congress MP from Jalna, Kalyan Kale, visited the village and met Jarange on Monday.

Kunbi, an agrarian group, falls under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category, and Jarange has been demanding that Kunbi certificates be issued to all Marathas, thus making them eligible for quota benefits.

In February this year, the Maharashtra legislature unanimously passed a bill providing 10 per cent reservation for the Marathas in education and government jobs under a separate category.

Notably, Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar had opposed reservation to the community from the share of the OBCs.

Asked about Wadettiwar's comments, Jarange on Monday said, "The Congress took votes from the Maratha people in the recent Lok Sabha elections and now they are speaking against our interests. They will face the consequences in the Vidhan Sabha elections." In the recently held Lok Sabha polls, the Congress won 13 out of 17 seats it contested in the state as part of the opposition alliance.

Jarange also demanded implementation of the Hyderabad Gazette for the Kunbi records of Marathas.

He said 57 lakh documents have been received proving that Marathas and Kunbis are the same.

He also demanded withdrawal of cases against protesters seeking Maratha quota.

Before this, the activist held the agitation over the quota issue between February 10 and 26.