Maratha quota: Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati unhappy with Thackeray govt.’s tepid response

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and Kolhapur royal Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati on Wednesday warned the tripartite Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government not to test the patience of the Maratha community while accusing it of dragging its feet on providing immediate benefits to the community.

Stating that he was disappointed with Mr. Thackeray’s tepid response to the community’s pressing demands, he warned the government that he was willing to protest again if the situation demanded.

“After our protests and sit-ins in June, the State government had urged me to defer protests and give it three weeks’ time to consider our immediate demands. Yet, from the Chief Minister’s letter which I have received, it appears that this government has not made any effort to address the community’s problems. While the Bhosale Commission has been formed to conduct a fresh survey to prove the Maratha community’s social backwardness, I want to know what has the State government done after that?” said Mr. Sambhajiraje.

He said the State government remained nebulous about their next action plan and had not clarified to the coordinators of the Maratha quota agitation how exactly they intended to proceed further.

In June, the MP had agreed to defer Maratha quota protests after the State government promised to meet the immediate demands of the community that including the strengthening of SARTHI (Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Research Training and Human Development Institute), giving more funds to Annasaheb Patil Mahamandal, setting up hostels, giving scholarships to the Maratha community students, and provide jobs for them in the wake of the Supreme Court’s scrapping of the Maratha quota law in May this year.

“The Chief Minister had said he would discuss the matter further. But his reply to our demands clearly shows that the letter is mere lip-service, drafted by bureaucrats… they are just mere pretexts and no concrete action is being taken to give succour to the community’s immediate needs,” said Mr. Sambhajiraje.

A royal from Kolhapur, Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati is a direct descendant of the Maratha warrior king Shivaji. He has been galvanising community efforts in wake of the Supreme Court’s repeal of the Maratha quota law and had previously announced a series of five silent sit-ins in various parts of the State.

Earlier this month, he had led a delegation, which included a representative each from the State’s major parties, to meet with President Ram Nath Kovind. Mr. Sambhajiraje had urged Mr. Kovind to request the Centre to lift the cap on the 50% reservation limit so as to empower the State to grant reservation to the Maratha community.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 2:04:14 AM |

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