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Maratha quota stir: Manoj Jarange ends hunger strike after 17 days

The founder of Shivba Sanghatana, however said the mission to get reservation in jobs and education under the OBC bracket would continue.
Last Updated : 26 February 2024, 10:42 IST
Last Updated : 26 February 2024, 10:42 IST

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Mumbai: A day after being snubbed by the Maharashtra government and asked not to cross the limits, Maratha reservation campaigner Manoj Jarange-Patil went on the backfoot and broke the fast-unto-death on Monday.

However, Jarange-Patil, the founder of Shivba Sanghatana, who has emerged as the face of the Maratha quota demand, said the mission to get reservation in jobs and education under the OBC bracket and benefits for ‘sage-soyare’-family tree would continue. 

On Sunday, Jarange-Patil got up from the protest site at Antarwali Sarathi in Jalna district and headed for Mumbai after which Maharashtra  Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and two Deputy Chief Ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar snubbed him and warned him not to make the issue political. 

Jarange-Patil, who also alleged threat to his life from Fadnavis, did not get much support on the ground. 

In the night, he went back to Antarwali Sarathi.

“I will undergo treatment for a few days, after which I will set out for a statewide tour and meet people,” Jarange told reporters in Antarwali Sarati, breaking his 17-day hunger-strike, before heading for Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar.

The Maratha community now has two options of getting benefits of reservations in jobs and education. 

In February, the Maharashtra State Reservation for Socially and Educationally Backward Bill, 2024, was passed in the state legislature, paving the way for 10 per cent reservation.  

Last year, the government, in a parallel exercise, had also searched  for Kunbi-Maratha and Maratha-Kunbi records and as per Jarange-Patil’s claims 57 lakh records have been found. Kunbis form a sub-caste of the Maratha and covered under OBCs - and thus the certificates would enable them to get reservation in jobs and education. 

However, Jarange-Patil’s demand is to declare the Marathas as Kunbis and grant separate quotas from the OBCs, plus the formal notification of the ‘sage-soyare’, a Marathi term for ‘relatives from the family tree',  which widened the scope of the quota. 

Over the past few days, two of those who were part of the campaign - Ajay Maharaj Baraskar and Sangeeta Wankhede had spoken out against Jarange-Patil - which is a setback to him.

The controversial statements coming from him and often targeting politicians has not gone down well.

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Published 26 February 2024, 10:42 IST

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