Maharashtra: CM vows to ensure no caste tensions in the state

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde reportedly claimed on Saturday that the Maharashtra government will ensure that caste tension doesn`t erupt in society, amid Marathas and OBCs firming up their stands on reservations.

Shinde thanked OBC activist Laxman Hake and others for withdrawing their indefinite fast following the government intervention, reported PTI.

Shinde told the reporters in Nashik, “We will ensure there is no caste tension in society,” reported PTI.

Activists Hake and Navnath Waghmare had staged fast since June 13, demanding that the OBC quota not be diluted. They called off their agitation on Saturday after a government delegation called on them.

Shinde, in a meeting with OBC leaders in Mumbai on Friday, said an all-party meeting will be held in the first week of the monsoon session, reported the PTI. Reportedly, the monsoon session beings on June 27. 

“A good discussion was held on the issue yesterday,” he added, according to the PTI.

As per the agency report, state minister Chhagan Bhujbal said the government has decided to convene the meeting to discuss the issue of extending reservations to “sage-soyare,” or the kin of Marathas who possess the Kunbi caste certificate.

In January, the state government reportedly 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 demanded that all Marathas get reservations under the OBC category, reported PTI.

Meanwhile, OBC leaders have reportedly demanded that the government scrap the draft notification.

When asked about the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority`s move to increase water charges by 10 percent, the chief minister reportedly said his government was pro-farmer and no decision would be taken against their interests.

Earlier, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said the decision to increase water charges was taken on March 29, 2022, when the Uddhav Thackeray-led MVA government was in power, as per the agency report.

Fadnavis accused the opposition Congress of spreading “false news” that the water charge hike decision was finalised by the incumbent Mahayuti government, reported PTI.

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