Quota row: Maharashtra CM vows to prevent caste tensions


PTI, Jun 22, 2024, 5:22 PM IST

The Maharashtra government will ensure that caste tension doesn’t erupt in society, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said on Saturday against the backdrop of Marathas and OBCs firming up their stands on reservations.
Shinde thanked OBC activist Laxman Hake and others for withdrawing their indefinite fast following the government intervention.
“We will ensure there is no caste tension in the society,” Shinde told reporters in Nashik.
Activists Hake and Navnath Waghmare were observing fast since June 13 demanding that the OBC quota not be diluted. They called off their agitation on Saturday after a government delegation called on them.
Shinde, who chaired a meeting of OBC leaders in Mumbai on Friday, said an all-party meeting will be convened in the first week of the monsoon session beginning June 27.
“A good discussion was held on the issue yesterday,” he added.
The government has decided to convene the meeting to discuss the issue of extending reservations to “sage-soyare” or the kin of Marathas who possess the Kunbi caste certificate, state minister Chhagan Bhujbal had said.
In January, the state government came out with a draft notification to grant Kunbi status to the `sage-soyare’ (relatives by birth or marriage) of Marathas who have already established that they belong to the agrarian Kunbi community, an OBC group.
Activist Manoj Jarange has demanded that all Marathas get reservations under the OBC category.
OBC leaders, on the other hand, have demanded that the government scrap the draft notification.
Queried on the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority’s move to increase water charges by 10 per cent, the chief minister said his government was pro-farmer and no decision would be taken against their interests.
Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said the decision to increase water charges was taken on March 29, 2022, when Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government was in power.
Fadnavis accused the opposition Congress of spreading “false news” that the water charge hike decision was finalised by the incumbent Mahayuti government.

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