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Kunbi Community Protests Against Maratha Reservation From OBC Quota in Maharashtra

Nagpur, Maharashtra| September 08, 2023: In a new twist to the reservation dynamics in Maharashtra, the Kunbi community has voiced strong opposition to the recent decision by the state government to provide reservation benefits to the Maratha community under the OBC (Other Backward Classes) quota. This development comes on the heels of the government’s decision to grant Maratha reservation by issuing caste certificates of the Kunbi community, a decision reached after intense protests by Maratha activists.

The Akhil Kunbi Samaj, a prominent organization representing the Kunbi community, has now taken a firm stand, asserting that they do not want the Maratha community to receive reservation benefits through their OBC quota. To underscore their stance, the Akhil Kunbi Samaj has declared the commencement of a symbolic fast starting this Saturday, with the possibility of organizing a widespread agitation in the near future.

The seeds of this controversy were sown when the state government yielded to the demands of the Maratha community after the Maratha Kranti Morcha’s agitation in Jalna. The government issued an official order to provide reservation to the Maratha community using the Kunbi caste certificates. However, this move has met with significant resistance from the Kunbi community.

A crucial meeting was convened today at the official bungalow of the Zilla Parishad Vice President, attended by former Minister Sunil Kedar, Zilla Parishad Women and Child Welfare Committee Chairperson Avantika Lekurwale, Congress’s Narendra Jichkar, and Akhil Kunbi Samaj President Purushottam Shahane Patil. Representatives from various sub-castes within the Kunbi society were also present during the meeting.

Purushottam Shahane Patil, the President of Akhil Kunbi Samaj, stated, “The Maratha community should not be granted reservation benefits from the OBC quota, or else we will launch a fierce agitation, including the declaration of a Maharashtra bandh. Today, we have also submitted a statement to the district collector in this regard.” Avantika Lekurwale, Chairperson of the Zilla Parishad Women and Child Welfare Committee, added, “We are not opposed to providing reservation to the Maratha community, but it should not come at the expense of the existing OBC quota, which already encompasses numerous castes. It would not be logical to include the Maratha caste within this category. We would welcome a separate reservation for them, but if it’s granted through the OBC quota, we will vehemently oppose it.”

The Kunbi community has called for a meeting scheduled for Friday to determine the future course of action. Purushottam Shahane Patil announced that a symbolic fast will commence on Saturday in front of the organization’s office to underscore their demands. The situation remains fluid as both communities grapple with the reservation controversy, leaving the government facing a challenging task in finding an equitable resolution.

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