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Centre can't be mere spectator, should take lead to resolve quota issue: Sharad Pawar

Asked about the increasing Maratha-OBC conflict over the reservation issue in Maharashtra, Pawar said there is only one solution that the Centre should take the lead to resolve it and there is a need for amendments in law and the state and Centre's policies.
Last Updated : 20 June 2024, 08:55 IST

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Pune: NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said the Centre cannot be a mere spectator and it should take lead to resolve matters pertaining to the quota demand by the Maratha community and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

Asked about the increasing Maratha-OBC conflict over the reservation issue in Maharashtra, Pawar said there is only one solution that the Centre should take the lead to resolve it and there is a need for amendments in law and the state and Centre's policies.

The former Union minister was speaking to reporters at Baramati in Maharashtra's Pune district.

In February this year, the Maharashtra legislature unanimously passed a bill granting a separate 10 per cent reservation in education and jobs to the Maratha community under a separate category.

However, the community has been demanding quota under the OBC grouping.

Activist Manoj Jarange has been demanding implementation of the draft notification that recognises Kunbis as “sage soyare” (blood relatives) of Maratha community members and also seeking a law to identify Kunbis as Marathas.

Kunbi, an agrarian group, falls under the OBC category, and Jarange has been demanding that Kunbi certificates be issued to all Marathas, thus making them eligible for quota in government jobs and education.

Amid the Maratha reservation demand, two OBC activists have been sitting on a fast in Jalna district, seeking an assurance from the government that the existing Other Backward Classes quota will not be disturbed.

Pawar said, "A change in the policies of the state and central governments will have to be made."

"The governments, specially the Centre, should take the lead in addressing demands of both the communities and ensure the agitation does not cross a limit and that social tension should not take place. The governments cannot be a mere spectator on the issue," he added.

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Published 20 June 2024, 08:55 IST

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