Will ensure defeat of leaders who did not support Maratha quota demand: Jarange

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Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, Jul 11 (PTI) Activist Manoj Jarange on Thursday said the Maharashtra government should give reservation to the Maratha community instead of indulging in the blame-game, and warned that those opposing the demand will pay the price in the coming assembly elections.

All those who worked against the community's interests will be defeated in the coming assembly polls, he warned.

The Shiv Sena-BJP-NCP government had called an all-party meeting recently on the Maratha quota issue, but the Opposition boycotted it saying that the issue should be discussed in the legislature first.

"The Opposition should have asked for reservation (for the Marathas) in the meeting. But if the government had political will, they should have given the reservation. They should not play the blame game," Jarange said at a rally in Beed.

"But they don't want to give reservation. I suspect that the government and Opposition parties are on the same page. People should tell our leaders to ask for reservation, else they should not come to seek votes," he added.

He also targeted minister Girish Mahajan, accusing him of trying to fool the people.

"Now he says that 'Sage-Soyare' clause (in an earlier notification) was not sustainable. If that is so, why (OBC leader and senior minister) Chhagan Bhujbal is demanding that it should be scrapped? Why they (Other Backward Class activists) agitated?" Jarange asked.

The Sage-Soyare clause in the notification issued by the government earlier this year said that if a Maratha person has established (by producing documents) that he or she is Kunbi, the person's blood relatives (`Sage-Soyare) should also be recognised as Kunbis and get quota in OBC category. Kunbis, an agrarian community, enjoy the OBC status.

Alleging that the Maratha community was being targeted, he said they know how to protect themselves.

"Our parents have taught us how to protect ourselves. We are Kshatriya Marathas but we want peace....We will defeat everyone who went against the Marathas in the assembly elections. Not a single person who caused trouble to the Maratha community should be elected," he said, adding that the community should vote en bloc.

He also said that OBCs were not enemies of the Maratha community.

"Our enemy is Chhagan Bhujbal because he is the leader of all (those opposing the inclusion of Marathas in OBC category)," Jarange said.

If the government did not listen to the demands of the Maratha community, "it will be out of Mumbai (lose power) and we will be in Mumbai," he said.

"I will tell you the names of the leaders who are to be toppled (in the election). We have to make a change some day," the activist said. PTI AW KRK