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Chhagan Bhujbal holds meeting with followers, calls for a country-wide caste census

In Nashik, Bhujbal, who is also the President of Akhil Bharatiya Mahatma Phule Samata Parishad, held a meeting with his supporters coinciding with the fast-changing political scenario.
Last Updated : 17 June 2024, 18:52 IST

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Mumbai: Upset over the handling of the Maratha reservation issue by the BJP-led Maha Yuti dispensation and being politically sidelined, veteran OBC leader and state’s Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection  Minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Monday called for a country-wide caste census. 

Bhujbal’s moves are being closely watched by the Maha Yuti (NDA) and Maha Vikas Aghadi (I.N.D.I.A bloc) and there is curiosity over what steps he takes in the coming days. 

Bhujbal (76) became part of the Ajit Pawar-led NCP after a group rebelled against their mentor Sharad Pawar and switched over to the BJP-led NDA camp in June-July 2023.

In Nashik, Bhujbal, who is also the President of Akhil Bharatiya Mahatma Phule Samata Parishad, held a meeting with his supporters coinciding with the fast-changing political scenario. 

“I will urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a caste census…he has become the Prime Minister for the third term…if this census is done, it will be of great benefit to the OBCs of the country as they will get a huge amount of funds from the Centre,” he told reporters. 

“Once a caste census is done it would throw light on various issues involving the OBCs,” he said. 

In fact, Bhujbal had resigned as a minister in November over the Maratha reservation issue, however, it has not been accepted yet.

"I am with you all...if need be and I feel that injustice is being meted out to the OBCs I will hit the streets with you all," he said.

It may be mentioned that Bhujbal was keen to contest the Nashik seat, however, sitting Shiv Sena MP Hemant Godse refused to give it to the NCP or the BJP. 

Bhujbal, an orator par excellence,  was keen to go to  the Rajya Sabha, however, the NCP decided to give it to Sunetra Pawar.

Bhujbal’s statement assumes significance as two OBC leaders are undertaking fast unto death at Jalna, demanding assurance from the Eknath Shinde-government that the OBC quota would not be diluted while extending benefits to the Marathas.

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Published 17 June 2024, 18:52 IST

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