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No Maratha leader is with me, I am fighting lonely battle for quota: Jarange

Manoj Jarange, who launched his latest round of protest on June 8 and suspended it six days later, has been demanding implementation of the draft notification that recognises Kunbis as 'sage soyare' (blood relatives) of Maratha community members.
Last Updated : 25 June 2024, 11:27 IST

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Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar: Maratha quota agitation leader Manoj Jarange on Tuesday said while the OBC leaders were united over the issue of reservation despite belonging to different parties, those from his own community were not with him and he was fighting a lonely battle for quota.

He was talking to reporters on Tuesday before being discharged from a private hospital where he was admitted a few days back.

Jarange, who launched his latest round of protest on June 8 and suspended it six days later, has been demanding implementation of the draft notification that recognises Kunbis as 'sage soyare' (blood relatives) of Maratha community members.

Kunbi, an agrarian group, falls under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category, and Jarange has been demanding that Kunbi certificates be issued to all Marathas, thus making them eligible for quota benefits.

However, OBC activist Laxman Hake and his supporters have been opposing Jarange's demand for issuance of Kunbi certificates to the Maratha community, and asserted that the state government must not take any decision that affects OBCs. Hake, who was on a hunger strike over his demand, withdrew it later.

"Yesterday I said I am alone. This means that OBC leaders are united irrespective of their different political parties. But the leaders belonging to my community are not with me. Many of them have stepped aside. But I will still keep fighting," Jarange said.

He also appealed to the government to fulfil the demands of the Maratha community.

"The government should meet our 'sage soyare' demand as per our definition and just publish a notification that Marathas and Kunbis are one. Even if the government takes the gazettes of Hyderabad, Satara and the Bombay presidency into consideration, the Marathas will get reservation," the activist added.

He alleged that people from the Maratha community who fought for the cause of reservation were defamed.

"Earlier, the people who fought for the community and quota were defamed by the government and were pushed aside. But no matter how much they defame us now, we won't move away from our demands," he said.

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Published 25 June 2024, 11:27 IST

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