All-party meet on Maratha quota asks activist Jarange to withdraw his indefinite fast

Mumbai: Leaders at an all-party meeting on Maratha quota chaired by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday passed a resolution asking activist Manoj Jarange to call off his indefinite fast.

The Maharashtra government is in favour of the Maratha quota, CM Shinde said after the meeting in Mumbai.

Activist Jarange should cooperate with the government in ensuring quota for the Maratha community he said.

The CM said Marathas should observe restraint.

The government needs time for legal modalities to implement the reservation, Shinde said.

The resolution was signed by CM Shinde, Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, NCP president Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anil Parab, Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Vijay Wadettiwar, LoP in the legislative council Ambadas Danve, among others.

Incidents of violence have been witnessed in many parts of the state in the last few days.

State-run bus services have been completely suspended in five Marathwada districts while curfew and Internet shut-down were imposed in parts of Beed on Monday where the houses of political leaders were targeted by protesters.

The CM has appealed to people not to resort to violence and also asked political parties to avoid indulging in any activities that would worsen the situation.

The Maharashtra government published an order on Tuesday asking officials concerned to issue fresh Kunbi caste certificates to eligible Maratha community members, paving the way for them to avail reservation benefits under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

A government resolution (GR) asked the officials to translate old documents having references to Kunbis and written in Urdu and ‘Modi’ script (which was used to write Marathi language in earlier times). These documents are to be digitised, attested and then put in public domain.

Kunbis, a community associated with agriculture, are grouped under the OBC category in Maharashtra and enjoy reservation benefits in education and government jobs.

Jarange, who is observing an indefinite fast for the quota demand at Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district, on Tuesday said the Maratha community will not accept an “incomplete reservation” and the Maharashtra government should call a special session of the state legislature on the issue.

He has threatened to stop drinking water from Wednesday evening if the “complete” quota was not granted to the Maratha community.