Bhujbal instigating communal tension, Jarange urges CM to rein in him

Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange on Friday accused Maharashtra minister and OBC leader Chhagan Bhujbal of instigating communal tension. He urged Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to rein him in, reported PTI.

He was speaking to media persons at Mahakala village in Jalna district in the wake of sloganeering and stone-pelting in his native Matori village in neighbouring Beed district.

According to the report, the incident took place on Thursday night when some people from nearby villages were passing through Matori to take part in a rally of OBC quota agitators Laxman Hake and Navnath Waghmare.

Jarange claimed that Bhujbal had orchestrated the attack to wrongly blame the Maratha youths, reported PTI.

“Bhujbal himself asked his men to hurl stones on their (OBC activists`) vehicles and then blamed the Maratha youths. The chief minister and the home minister should rein him in for fomenting communal discord,” he said.

As per the enws agency report, Jarange also claimed that the police were harassing the Maratha youths and also accusing them of being involved in the stone-pelting incident.

“The police are harassing the Maratha youths and blaming them for the stone-pelting. This injustice must stop,” he said, reported PTI.

He warned the government that the Maratha community would not remain quiet if such “targeted harassment” continued.

Jarange claimed that on earlier occasions as well, Bhujbal had tried to disrupt peace in his Antarwali Sarati village, but his efforts were foiled.
“Bhujbal incited people and created a communal rift, but we foiled his plan,” he asserted.

According to the agency report, OBC activists Hake and Waghmare`s fast was a government-sponsored protest, Jarange said, adding that Bhujbal himself accepted that both were their activists.

Jarange, who has brought the Maratha quota issue to the centre stage in the state, has been reportedly demanding the implementation of the draft notification that recognises Kunbis as `sage soyare` (blood relatives) of Maratha community members.

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

However, OBC activists Hake and Waghmare have opposed Jarange`s demand for the issuance of Kunbi certificates to the Maratha community, asserting that the state government must not take any decision that affects OBCs.

Hake and Wahgmare had been on a fast for the protection of OBC quota at Wadigodri village in Jalna district. They ended their 10-day fast on June 22.

(with inputs from PTI)

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