NCP leader Bhujbal leads Maharashtra yatra opposing Maratha Quota.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Ajit Pawar faction leader, Chhagan Bhujbal, has announced plans for protests and agitation outside the residences of MLAs, MPs, and tehsildars on February 1st. This move is in opposition to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s acceptance of the Maratha Quota demand by Manoj Jarange Patil.

The agitation is set to begin on February 1st, followed by a Maharashtra yatra planned for February 3rd. OBCs are urging scheduled castes and scheduled tribes to join them in opposing the inclusion of Marathas in the OBC category.

Chhagan Bhujbal convened a meeting at his official residence, which was attended by OBC legislators, leaders, and others. During the meeting, a resolution was passed to cancel the draft published by the chief minister on January 26th, where the demands of Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange were accepted.

“We will gather outside the residences of MLAs, MPs, and tehsildars to protest against the current decision of the state government, which is taking illegal measures to offer reservation benefits to the Maratha community. We will also organize an Elgar rally from Marathwada to unite OBCs against such decisions,” stated OBC leader Chhagan Bhujbal.

This announcement comes after Jarange called off his indefinite fast for the Maratha quota, as the government accepted his demands. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announced that until Marathas receive the reservation, they will be granted all the benefits enjoyed by the OBCs. The government issued a draft notification recognizing all blood relatives of Maratha community members whose Kunbi caste records have been found, making them eligible to claim the Kunbi (OBC) certificate.

Bhujbal raised concerns about the state government’s attempts to deceive the OBCs in the state. He argued that the induction of Marathas into OBCs will displace the existing backward classes, depriving them of reservation benefits.

It is worth noting that Bhujbal, belonging to the NCP faction led by Ajit Pawar, has been critical of the Shinde-led administration’s handling of the Maratha quota issue.

During the meeting, a resolution was passed to cancel the draft published by the chief minister on January 26th. Another demand was made to discontinue the justice (retd) Sandeep Shinde committee, which is tasked with examining the Kunbi records of Marathas, as it is deemed an unconstitutional body, according to Bhujbal.

Bhujbal alleged a conflict of interest involving Sunil Shukre, the chairman of the Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes (MSCBC), who is actively involved in the Maratha reservation movement. Bhujbal argued that the head of such a commission should remain impartial.

Bhujbal claimed that Shukre is already inclined towards granting reservation to the Maratha community, which goes against the principles of his position. He further criticized the appointment of Shukre as the chairman of the MSCBC, citing the Indra Sawhney vs Union government case, which emphasizes the impartiality of the heads of backward commissions.

Bhujbal accused the MSCBC of becoming a “Maratha commission” due to various Government Resolutions (GRs) issued to fulfill the demands of Marathas. He expressed concern that this move would snatch reservation benefits from over 300 OBC castes and solely benefit Marathas.

At the meeting, BJP MLCs Ram Shinde and Gopichand Padalkar showed their support for Bhujbal’s demands and resolutions.

The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Ajit Pawar faction leader Chhagan Bhujbal has announced protests and agitation against Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s acceptance of the Maratha Quota demand. Bhujbal plans to hold demonstrations outside the residences of MLAs, MPs, and tehsildars on 1 February. The agitation will be followed by a Maharashtra yatra on 3 February. The OBCs are calling on scheduled castes and scheduled tribes to join them in opposing the inclusion of Marathas in the OBC category. Bhujbal held a meeting with OBC legislators and leaders to discuss the cancellation of the draft published by the chief minister, which accepted the demands of Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange. Bhujbal claims that the government’s decision to offer reservation benefits to the Maratha community through illegal means will deprive existing backward classes of their reservation benefits. He also criticizes the appointment of Sunil Shukre as the chairman of the Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes (MSCBC), alleging that Shukre is biased towards granting reservation to the Maratha community. Bhujbal argues that the inclusion of Marathas in the OBC category will negatively impact more than 300 OBC castes.

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