Other Backward Classes (OBC) leaders in Maharashtra on Tuesday warned the state government against including Marathas under OBC category to push the reservation for the community following the Supreme Court’s stay order. We are not against Maratha reservation. But while giving reservation to Marathas, existing 27 per cent quota for OBCs should remain intact,” OBC Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti president Prakash Shendge said. The OBC leader reminded the state government of the Dhangar reservation promise made during the polls.Everybody seems to be concerned about the Maratha community. Nobody is taking up the cause of OBCs. From the very beginning there were apprehensions on the validity of Maratha reservation. Yet, under Socially and Educational Backward Category, Marathas were given 12 per cent reservation in education and 13 per cent in jobs. The OBCs are not against any community’s reservation. We are against OBC reservation to Marathas,” Shendge said.
A senior OBC minister requesting anonymity said, “In Vidarbha region, the Kunbhi-Marathas are availing OBC reservation for several decades. Now, our fear is, if Maratha reservation under SEBC category is not upheld constitutionally and legally, there will be pressure on the government and political parties to find an amicable solution.”Reservation under ST would require Centre’s intervention and Parliament’s consensus. ST leaders in the state, across Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena and BJP, are not in favour of sharing ST quota with Dhangars. The state government’s decision to suspend recruitment following stay on Maratha reservation has irked OBCs. OBC leaders believe why should eligible candidates representing SC/ST and OBCs suffer because of the stay on Maratha reservation. “There are 70,000 vacant posts in various government departments. The process cannot be stopped indefinitely. Candidates from backward classes will suffer,” Shendge said.