Updated February 4th, 2024 at 08:51 IST
As Maratha Leaders Demand Sacking, Chhagan Bhujbal Discloses He Resigned in November Last Year
Bhujbal, who belongs to the Ajit Pawar-led faction of the NCP, said he kept quiet for more than two months because the chief minister and deputy CM asked him
Maratha Quota Row: Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who has accused the state government of facilitating "backdoor entry" of the Maratha community into the OBC quota, has disclosed that he tendered his resignation from the state cabinet last November. Bhujbal further said he kept quiet for more than two months 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," said Bhujbal, who belongs to the Ajit Pawar-led faction of the NCP.
Addressing a rally here on Saturday, Bhujbal reiterated that he is not opposed to Marathas getting the reservation but is against sharing the existing quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
"Many leaders from the opposition, even leaders from my government say that I should resign. Someone said Bhujbal should be sacked from the cabinet," the senior OBC leader noted. "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 said.
Bhujbal's remarks come against the backdrop of the demand from some sections for his resignation as food and civil supplies minister as he has been criticising the state government over its handling of the Maratha quota demand. He has accused the government of pandering to the demands of Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange. A Shiv Sena MLA from the Eknath Shinde camp had said Bhujbal should be sacked for trying to create a rift in society.
Bhujbal said, "We do not oppose the reservation to the Maratha community, but give it to them separately. Do not give it under our (OBC) quota. But they (Manoj Jarange) say give it from the OBC quota." He 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 per cent of the state population, SC/STs 20 per cent and Brahmins 3 per cent, yet all MLAs and MPs are scared of losing Maratha votes," he said.
Bhujbal claimed the OBC MLAs don't even help in funding rallies let alone participating in them.
Published February 4th, 2024 at 08:50 IST