Jalna, Nov 6 (PTI) "Backdoor" attempts to grant the reservation to the Maratha community under the OBC category will be opposed, Maharashtra minister and NCP (Ajit Pawar faction) leader Chhagan Bhujbal said on Monday.
He also said violence and pressure tactics will not be tolerated, the remarks coming against the backdrop of the protests seeking the reservation for Marathas in various parts of the state. Bhujbal stressed that he was not against granting the quota to Marathas in government jobs and education which can be given separately.
"Protesters are using force and intimidation to attain their objectives. The Marathwada region has witnessed a surge in arson and violence during the Maratha reservation protests," Bhujbal told reporters.
He said when Maratha leaders realised that they wouldn't get the reservation directly (outside the OBC quota), they attempted to obtain it through the back door (within the OBC category).
"We will not allow such tactics and will fight to protect our reservation," he added.
The Constitution provided reservations to uplift socially backward communities and it is not a poverty alleviation programme.
"The chief architect of the Constitution, B R Ambedkar, has provided the reservations based on social backwardness and not on the economic criteria," the minister said.
He appealed to members of the Other Backward Classes to unite for the protection of their reservation rights and stressed the need for unity.
The Maharashtra government has expanded the scope of the Justice Sandip Shinde (retd) Committee formed to study the feasibility of giving Kunbi certificates to the Maratha community members in view of the protests spearheaded by activist Manoj Jarange, who recently withdrew his indefinite fast on the assurance of the state government.
Among the demands of Jarange is that Marathas be given Kunbi certificates so that they can get the reservation under the Other Backward Classes segment.
According to Jarange, he has given the deadline to the state government for the implementation of the Maratha quota by December 24 though the government has sought time till January 2. PTI COR NSK