Chhagan Bhujbal says ‘resigned as Maharashtra minister last November’ over Maratha OBC quota issue

Chhagan Bhujbal says 'resigned as Maharashtra minister last November' over Maratha OBC quota issue


Chhagan Bhujbal, who belongs to the Ajit Pawar-led faction of the NCP, has disclosed that he tendered his resignation from the Maharashtra cabinet in November 2023 because of the Maratha OBC quota issue.

Addressing a rally on Saturday, Bhujbal said that he is not opposed to Marathas getting the reservation but is against sharing the existing quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

NCP’s Chhagan Bhujbal, OBCs declares Maharashtra yatra against Maratha Quota

Speaking about his resignation, Bhujbal disclosed, “Many leaders from the opposition, even leaders from my government say that I should resign. Someone said Bhujbal should be sacked from the cabinet…I want to tell leaders from the opposition, government, and my party that ahead of the OBC Elgar rally held in Ambad on November 17, I resigned from the cabinet on November 16 and then went to attend that event”.

He did not reveal about his resignation earlier because the chief minister and the Dy CM asked him not to speak about it. “There is no need for sacking. I have tendered my resignation. I will fight for the OBCs till the end,” Bhujbal added.

Ajit Pawar’s NCP slams ally Shinde’s ‘eyewash’ response to Maratha quota demand

Bhujbal slammed the Maharashtra government for its handling of the Maratha quota demand. He has accused the government of pandering to the demands of Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange.

Bhujbal claimed the process of gathering data to determine the Maratha community’s backwardness through a survey by the state backward classes commission is flawed. “While OBCs constitute 54-60% of the state population, SC/STs 20 % and Brahmins 3%, yet all MLAs and MPs are scared of losing Maratha votes,” he said.

Maratha reservation in Maharashtra: Why are OBC leaders protesting?

Recently Bhujbal told the media that Marathas are being included in OBC “through the backdoor entry”.

“.. I have been working for the OBCs for the last 35 years… Today Marathas are included in OBC, tomorrow Patels, Jaats, and Gurjars will also be included. Strong communities will enter the OBC category this way… We will fight in every manner which can be expected in a democracy… Supreme Court said that Marathas are not backward,” Bhujbal said.

 

Bhujbal was the Minister of Food, Civil Supplies, and Consumer Protection in the incumbent Maharashtra government. The 76-year-old politician was a prominent figure in the undivided Shiv Sena and quit the Bal Thackeray-founded party more than three decades ago.

The Maratha community, led by activist Manoj Jarange, has been agitating for inclusion in the OBC category to avail quota benefits in government jobs and educational institutes.

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Published: 04 Feb 2024, 11:46 AM IST



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