Jarange's demand for specific term in Maratha quota notification won't pass legal test: minister

The term "sage soyare" in Marathi means through birth relations and relations by marriage.
Last Updated : 20 June 2024, 05:15 IST

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Pune: Maharashtra minister Girish Mahajan on Wednesday said the demand by quota activist Maroj Jarange for the inclusion of the "sage soyare" term in the Maratha reservation notification will not withstand legal scrutiny.

The term "sage soyare" in Marathi means through birth relations and relations by marriage.

Speaking to the reporters in Pune, Mahajan accused the opposition of deriving political mileage from the Maratha reservation issue and asserted that it was the Devendra Fadnvais government which had granted the quota to the Maratha community without disturbing the allocation of other communities.

"In the last 50 years, had anyone made efforts to give reservation to the Maratha community? (NCP-SP Chief) Sharad Pawar had even said there was no need to give reservation to Marathas," claimed the BJP leader, a confidant of Fadnavis.

Mahajan noted that after the BJP-led government granted the reservation to the Maratha community, the subsequent Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government failed to defend the reservation in the Supreme Court.

"The BJP's stand is very clear and it is in support of quota for the Maratha community. It is our stand to give reservation to the Maratha community without touching the reservation of OBCs. What can we do if, despite all these efforts, Manoj Jarange is not satisfied?" he remarked.

Mahajan said while Jarange is demanding reservation for "Sage Soyare", it will not pass the legal test in court.

"As far as I know, such a reservation cannot be given, but if there is a workable solution, the government will pursue it," Mahajan said.

Notably, Jarange has said Marathas will be left with no choice other than contesting assembly elections in collaboration with other social groups if their demands are not fulfilled.

"Politics is not our way. But if our demands are not fulfilled, we will be left with no other option except contesting elections. We will contest elections on 288 assembly seats," he had said.

The 41-year-old activist 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.

In February this year, the state assembly unanimously passed a bill granting a separate 10 per cent reservation in education and jobs to the Maratha community. However, the community has been demanding a quota under the OBC grouping.

Published 20 June 2024, 05:15 IST

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