Pro-OBC quota activists suspend hunger strike after talks with Bhujbal-led delegation

Jalna (Maharashtra): A day after Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde assured that OBC reservation won’t be affected and the government will soon set up a cabinet committee to address their issues, pro-OBC quota activist Laxman Hake on Saturday suspended his 10-day indefinite hunger strike after talks with a ministerial delegation led by NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal.

Hake, however, clarified that he has not totally cancelled his protest but suspended it following the government’s move to partially accept his demands that the OBC quota would not be touched, it would take action against the issue of fake caste certificates and hold a debate on OBC issues during the monsoon session of the assembly starting on June 27.

Navnath Waghmare, who was also on a hunger strike, too suspended his protest.

Hake and Waghmare were sitting on the hunger strike since June 13 seeking the recognition of Kunbis, which is an agrarian OBC group, as Marathas, thus making them eligible for a quota in government jobs and education. The duo were opposed to any attempt to dilute the OBC quota.

Bhujbal, who is the founder of the Samata Parishad, targeted the pro-Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange Patil and declared that his bullying will not work. ‘’Reservation is not a ‘’garibi hatao’’ programme, it is meant to gradually bring the unjust society forward,’’ he said.

‘’The battle is not over. We are not afraid of anyone. Henceforth, if you (OBC) all stay together, your reservation will last. Nothing will happen if you sit with your hands folded.

“Henceforth, if the power of the people unites, the power of money will be defeated. We want reservation in the state assembly and Lok Sabha. The caste wise census should be conducted as Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has extended his support to the same,’’ said Bhujbal.

‘’We want to stand by Laxman Hake and Navnath Waghmare. Dalit and tribal communities are with you (OBCs). False certificates were issued in many places in the state. Action should be taken against those who gave false certificates. Fake documents will be checked once again. A case will be registered against those who give false documents,’’ stated Bhujbal.



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