Govt to call all-party meet on Maratha quota on June 29, says Chhagan Bhujbal

Maharashtra minister and OBC leader Chhagan Bhujbal said on Friday that the state government will convene an all-party meeting next week to discuss the issue of extending reservations to `sage-soyare` or the kin of Marathas who possess the Kunbi caste certificate, reported PTI.

Addressing the press after a meeting of OBC leaders called in Mumbai by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, the NCP leader asserted the government was positive about the demand for a caste census in the state.

As per the PTI report, the all-party meeting will be held on June 29, during the monsoon session of the state legislature which would start from June 27, Bhujbal said.

The government was of the view that there should be no injustice to both OBCs and Marathas, said the minister who has been opposing the inclusion of Marathas in the Other Backward Class category for giving them quota.

Reportedly, a group of cabinet ministers including himself will visit Jalna on Saturday and try to persuade the OBC activists who are on hunger strike in the district with the demand that OBC quota should not be diluted, Bhujbal informed.

Kunbi certificates obtained by Marathas would be linked to their Aadhaar cards and action would be taken against those who produce bogus documents, he said.

A sub-committee of the cabinet would be formed to deal with issues of the OBCs, on the lines of an existing committee for the Marathas, the minister said.

On the demand for caste census, he said deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was in favour of conducting such a survey.

In January, the state government came out with a draft notification to grant Kunbi status to the `sage-soyare` (relatives by birth or marriage) of Marathas who have already established that they belong to the agrarian Kunbi community, an OBC group.

Activist Manoj Jarange has been demanding that all Marathas get reservation in the OBC category.

OBC leaders, on the other hand, have demanded that the government scrap the draft notification. 

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