Jarange claims Marathas assaulted for not voting for BJP in Beed LS seat; demands action

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Manoj Jarange Patil Pankaja Munde

Manoj Jarange Patil (L); Pankaja Munde (R)

Jalna: Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange on Sunday urged Maharashtra Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis to take action against certain people who were attacking Marathas for not voting for the BJP candidate in Beed in the Lok Sabha election.

Speaking to reporters on the second day of his indefinite fast at Antarwali Sarathi village, Jarange claimed that Marathas in some villages in Beed district were being assaulted for not voting for BJP's Pankaja Munde, who lost to NCP (SP) candidate Bajrang Sonawane in the recently held polls. He appealed to the home minister and Beed superintendent of police to take action against such violence and urged Maratha youth to maintain peace and communal harmony.

The activist said leaders opposing Maratha interests would face consequences in the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections.

Jarange launched an indefinite fast on Saturday, demanding implementation of the draft notification that recognises as Kunbis all blood relatives of Maratha community members and sought a law to identify Kunbis as Marathas.

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

The activist advised Marathas to focus on farming, especially with the sowing season underway, and not join him at the protest site in Antarwali Sarathi.

Meanwhile, the gram panchayat of Antarwali Sarathi village passed a resolution backing Jarange's protest.

A section of villagers had earlier submitted a memorandum to the district administration, urging it not to grant permission to Jarange's protest in the village, citing a potential threat to communal harmony.

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

On February 20, the Maharashtra legislature on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill providing 10 per cent reservation for the Marathas in education and government jobs under a separate category.