'Dhangar community to get ST reservation before polls'

Last Updated 14 November 2018, 18:04 IST

The Maharashtra Government has launched a mammoth exercise to ensure that the Dhangar (shepard) community gets reservation under the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category before the 2019 polls.

As of now the Danghar community gets reservation under Vimukta Jati & Nomadic Tribes (VJNT) category of the state. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries Development Minister Mahadev Jankar, who is the President of Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, are working on the issue.
"We are working on it and would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the issue... we want ST category status for Dhangars before next year's election ," Jankar, a prominent Dhangar leader, told DH on Wednesday.
Dhangars mainly live in the Marathwada and Western Maharashtra region and forms nearly 9.5% of the state's total 11.25 crore population.
Politically, they are significant in four Lok Sabha constituency - Barmati, Madha, Solapur and Satara. In the 288 member Vidhan Sabha, they play a significant role in 30 to 35 seats.
The Dhangar Welfare Association had earlier this year intensified their agitation for reservation under ST category in Maharashtra.
Of the total 52% reservation in the state, SCs and STs account for 13 and 7% respectively, while OBCs get 19%, VJNT, Special Backward Class and Nomadic Tribes account for 13% reservation.
"It's a technical issue, the state is in touch with the Centre and trying to sort out the issue," Jankar added.
Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha and Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections, reservation to Dhangar community was a poll promise of the BJP.
(Published 14 November 2018, 13:40 IST)

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