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Quota issue won't be solved unless BJP thrown out of power in state & Centre: Nana Patole

Mumbai: Accusing the BJP of cheating the Marathas, OBCsandDhangars among other communities in the name of reservation, the Congress said that the vexed quota issue will not be solved unless the BJP-led governments in Centre and Maharashtra are thrown out of power.

“The BJP government at the Centre and in the state is blind, deaf and mute. The issue of reservation will not be solved unless this government is thrown out of power,” state Congress president Nana Patole said on Thursday.

“Before coming to power in 2014, the BJP promised reservation to the Maratha, Tribal, Dhangar, Halba and OBC communities. Despite being in power for 10 years now, they haven’t been able to keep this promise. The reservation issue is intensifying in the state, which is a result of the BJP’s attempt to create strife within different communities,” said Patole, a former Speaker.

“Today, there is a huge outcry against BJP in all these sections of society, but the government does not understand the public sentiment,” he said adding that Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde himself is not sure about his chair.

“Shinde is himself not sure whether his seat will remain or not, his word has no value, so what reservation will he give…He is more concerned about his own seat than the reservation of the Maratha community. It doesn’t look like the government will do anything about reservations,” Patole said.

Patole said that the government had sought a month’s time from Manoj Jarange-Patil but he gave them 40 days. “This deadline also expired but the government could not solve the reservation issue and Jarange-Patil is on a hunger strike yet again. It has once again shown that the government is not serious about giving reservations. The BJP government in the Centre and State has come to power by lying to the public and making false promises,” said Patole.

“Today, in the state of Shahu-Phule-Ambedkar, the government is consciously trying to create a conflict between OBCs, Marathas, Dhangars and Adivasis,” he added.

Hitting out at Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Patole said: “After coming to power in Maharashtra,Fadnavis promised to give reservation to the Dhangar community in the very first Cabinet meeting. What happened to that promise? It was Fadnavis who had made tall claims like – ‘if we are elected, we will give Maratha reservation in one month and only we can give Maratha reservation’. It’s been one-and-a-half years since his government came back to power, and Fadnavis has not done anything about that either. This government has also cheated the OBC community on the issue of political reservation and so the elections to the local bodies have not been held for one and a half years. Local bodies are being run by administrators without public representatives due to which the development works have come to a standstill.”

“Many communities are demanding reservations, and to give justice to their demands, a caste-wise census should be done, and the 50 per cent cap on reservation must be done away with. The Congress Working Committee has passed a resolution and a demand has also been made to the central government. If the government wanted to provide reservation, the central government could have removed the 50% limit in a special session but they did not do so. The BJPis also the opposing caste-wise census. This has once again exposed the anti-reservation face of the BJP,” said Patole.

(Published 26 October 2023, 05:15 IST)

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