Maratha Quota Activist Claims Conspiracy to ‘Eliminate’ Him

Mumbai: Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange on Tuesday alleged that while the government was having dialogue with him, on the other hand it is trying to get rid of him. The quota activist’s hunger strike entered on the fourth day. His health is deteriorating and doctors have advised him to take intravenous fluids, which he has refused to take.

The Maratha quota activist has been sitting an indefinite fast on June 8 at Antarwali-Saraati village at Ambad tehsil in Jalna district seeking implementation of a draft notification that recognises all ‘sage soyre’ (blood relatives) of Maratha community members as Kunbis, an agrarian group classified as an OBC (other backward class) community, who are eligible for OBC quota benefits.

A team of doctors examined Jarange and requested him to take medicine or intravenous fluids as his blood pressure (BP) is low and sugar level is also falling. According to the doctors, his blood pressure was 84/54 and the sugar level was at 70. Doctors said that IV should be administered to him. However, he refused to take it.

“It seems the government is least worried about our plight. The Maratha community will teach them a lesson. On one hand, the government is engaging me in dialogue. On the other hand, no decision has been taken even after four days of my fast. I think there is a conspiracy to just eliminate me,” Jarange said.

The Maratha reservation issue caused major damage to the BJP led Mahayuti in Marathwada region, which is epicenter of the protest. Now, Jarange has threatened to field candidates in all the 288 seats of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly if the government fails to fulflill his demand.

The state government in February enacted a law providing separate 10 per cent reservation to the Maratha community in education and government jobs. However, Jarange has rejected the separate quota and is insisting on reservation from the OBC category.

Reacting to Jarange’s allegations, Shiv Sena spokesperson and MLA Sanjay Shirsat said that no one is trying to eliminate the Maratha activist. “The Maratha community has got a great leader in Jarange. The established leaderships of the Maratha community had so far misled the Maratha community in the past. The government is considering his demand positively. The government has no desire to harm him anyway,” Shirsat said.

Meanwhile, Sakal Maratha Samaj has appealed to the NCP founder Sharad Pawar and chief minister Eknath Shinde to resolve the issue of Maratha reservation and end the hunger strike or they would protest at residences of key Maratha leaders including Sharad Pawar.

Karan Gaikar, convenor of Sakal Maratha Samaj, said, “Sharad Pawar should call key Maratha leaders from all the political parties and take an initiative to resolve the issues. The CM should also approach Jarange and convince him to withdraw the indefinite hunger strike.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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