Maratha Quota Protests: In a recent all-party meeting convened by the Maharashtra government to address the ongoing protests, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde expressed the government’s favorable stance on the Maratha quota.
The meeting saw prominent leaders, including Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, and Uddhav Thackeray camp leader Anil Parab, passing a resolution urging pro-quota activist Manoj Jarange Patil to end his indefinite fast. They emphasized the importance of restraint by the Maratha community while the government handles the necessary legal procedures for quota implementation.
Demand is for inclusion under the Kunbi caste
Manoj Jarange Patil, the pro-quota activist, clarified that their demand is for inclusion under the Kunbi caste, emphasizing that Marathas belong to the Kunbi caste, which falls under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.
To address this issue, the Shinde government established a committee led by a retired judge, which reported that out of approximately 11,530 Marathas examined among a lakh individuals, they possessed documents identifying them as Kunbi.
Incidents of violence across the state
The recent wave of protests resulted in incidents of violence across the state, prompting Chief Minister Shinde to urge political parties to avoid actions that could further escalate the situation. State-run bus services were suspended in five Marathawada region districts, and gatherings were prohibited in Beed, where protesters had set fire to the houses of politicians.
Additionally, the Maharashtra government has instructed officials to issue new Kunbi caste certificates to eligible Maratha community members, enabling them to access reservation benefits under the OBC category. Manoj Jarange Patil, who has been on an indefinite hunger strike since October 25, threatened to stop drinking water if the “complete” quota was not granted to the Maratha community.