Updated June 8th, 2024 at 13:26 IST

'Will Field Candidates in Maha Assembly Elections If...': Manoj Jarange Resumes Maratha Protest

Manoj Jarange also sought framing of a law to identify Kunbis as Marathas.

Reported by: Digital Desk
'Will Field Candidates in Maha Polls If...': Jarange Resumes Maratha Stir | Image:PTI

Jalna: Activist Manoj Jarange resumed his agitation demanding Other Backward Community (OBC) tag for the Marathas on Saturday and warned of fielding candidates from all 288 assembly seats in Maharashtra in the upcoming state polls if his demands were not met. 

Jarange, who launched an indefinite fast at his native Antarwali Sarati village in Ambad tehsil of Jalna district, also sought the implementation of draft notification 'sage-soyare' that recognises as Kunbis all blood relatives of Maratha community members. He also sought framing of a law to identify Kunbis as Marathas. 


Jarange launched the fresh round of agitation even as the district administration and the police authorities have denied permission for it. He has been demanding Other Backward Community (OBC) tag for the Marathas and implementation of the draft notification issued by the state government earlier this year for issuing certificates to blood relatives of eligible Kunbi Marathas. 

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


"I will not give up until the Maratha reservation is granted," news agency PTI quoted Jarange as saying. He accused the state government of trying to stall his protest by inciting the residents of Antarwali Sarati. 

A section of villagers earlier submitted a memorandum to the district administration, urging it to not grant permission to Jarange's protest in the village, citing a potential threat to communal harmony. Jarange urged Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to address the Maratha reservation issue. 


"If the demand for Maratha reservation is not fulfilled, I will field candidates from various communities from all 288 assembly segments in the state in the upcoming state elections," he said, adding that personally he would stay away from electoral politics.
Jarange said the draft notification on the 'sage soyare' (blood relatives) of the Kunbi Marathas be implemented and a law should be framed to identify Kunbis as Marathas. 

He said the Maratha community will hold CM Shinde and deputy CM Fadnavis in high regard if the reservation demand is met. Before this, Jarange had held the agitation over the quota issue between February 10 and 26. On February 20, the Maharashtra legislature on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill providing 10 per cent reservation for the Marathas in education and government jobs under a separate category. 


Speaking to reporters on Friday, the activist claimed that 57 lakh documents, which prove that Marathas and Kunbis are the same, have been received. He said that once the target of Maratha reservation is achieved, he would launch a fight to get quota for Dhangar and Muslim communities as well. 

On whether the Maratha reservation issue impacted the candidates in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls, he said his community showed its strength in these polls. He denied the allegation that BJP leader Pankaja Munde lost the election from Beed because of his appeal to the community members. 


He said that he neither supported nor opposed any party. "I did not favour any candidate nor was against anyone in the Lok Sabha election," he said. Accusing CM Shinde and deputy CM Fadnavis of obstructing the Maratha reservation process, Jarange alleged that Fadnavis conspired against the Maratha community 

(With PTI inputs)


Published June 8th, 2024 at 13:26 IST