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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Pankaja Munde urges Maharashtra govt to address OBC hunger strike


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On Monday, BJP leader Pankaja Munde urged the Maharashtra government to address the grievances expressed by OBC protesters Laxman Hake and Navnath Waghmare seriously. The two activists have been on a hunger strike in Jalna for the past five days, asking that the government delete its draft notification recognising “sage soyare” (blood relatives) for giving Kunbi certificates to Marathas, allowing them to benefit from the OBC quota, reported PTI. 

Munde expressed her concerns on social networking platform X, highlighting Hake and Waghmare`s deteriorating health, including their refusal to drink water. She emphasised that the government must treat all protestors equally and ensure that everyone`s voice is heard fairly.

“Prof Laxman Hake and his colleagues are on a hunger strike. They have even stopped intake of water. Their condition is deteriorating due to not drinking water,” Pankaja Munde wrote. 

“The role of government should be that like my father. All classes and all movements should be treated equally. Equal justice is expected from the government. His fast should be looked at seriously,” citing the apparent preferential treatment of Manoj Jarange, who heads the Maratha quota campaign, over the OBC demonstrators.

Hake has accused the state government of disregarding OBC requests while favouring those of the Maratha minority. The OBC protesters want that the planned notification recognising Kunbis as a “sage soyare” of Marathas to be withdrawn since they are concerned that it may harm their quota, reported PTI. 

Meanwhile, activist Manoj Jarange on Monday called on OBC leaders to focus on securing reservations for the Dhangar community under the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category instead of criticising the demand for the Maratha quota. Speaking to reporters, Jarange emphasised that OBC leaders are “not our enemies” and assured that the Maratha community would support the Dhangar community`s reservation demand.

Jarange has been advocating for the implementation of a draft notification that recognises Kunbis as “sage soyare” (blood relatives) of Marathas and for a law to identify Kunbis as Marathas. The Kunbi group, an agrarian community, falls under the OBC category, and Jarange wants Kunbi certificates issued to all Marathas to make them eligible for quota benefits.

With PTI inputs


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