MUMBAI: As the Maratha community took out another massive rally at Satara on Monday demanding quota, the OBCs united in a rally at Nashik on the same day, indicating cast-based polarisation in the State.
Though, several other politicians, including former deputy chief minister and Congress MP Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil participated in the rally, they were made to follow the rally and were not allowed to lead it. The rally was lead by young women from the community. Descendent of Chhatrapati Shivaji, Udayan Raje, who represents the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in the Lok Sabha, also participated in the rally.
Meanwhile, in Nashik, the Other Backward Communities (OBC) took out a rally. Though earlier it was said that the rally was to push for the demands of the community, it turned out to be a ploy by supporters of NCP leader Chagan Bhujbal. Bhujbal is serving his jail term over charges of corruption. The OBC community has been demanding that the Maratha community should not be added to their category. Anil Mahajan, president of Maharashtra Malli Samaj Mahasangh (MSMM), a representative body of Mali community to which Bhujbal belongs, said before the rally, “The OBC rally will not have any leader. Every individual participating in the rally will unite. It will be a collective leadership of OBCs.”
In Mumbai, Congress MLC Narayan Rane targeted the state government over the issue. “The government does not want to grant the reservation for the community,” he alleged and warned the government that though the rallies of Maratha community have been silent, “there would be an eruption and the government will have to face the wrath of the community”.
“The government would be responsible if the rallies turn violent in the future,” he said. Rane also accused Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray of taking an anti-Maratha stand.
The OBCs had also been opposing granting of quota to Dhangar community. The OBCs have 27 per cent quota in Maharashtra, while that for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is 10.5 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively.