Maratha Reservation Protest: A protest demanding reservation for Marathas in Maharashtra's Jalna district turned violent on Friday and left several people injured including the policemen.
Shivba founder and Maratha leader Manoj Jarange have re-ignited the demand for a separate Maratha quota in jobs and higher education.
The protest turned violent on Friday when the police tried to move Manoj Jarange, leading the agitation and was on hunger strike, to a hospital on doctors' advice.
What is the issue around Maratha Reservation?
In 2018, the Devendra Fadnavis-led government in Maharashtra had given reservation to the Maratha community in jobs and higher education, however, the Maharashtra's government decision on quota was quashed by the Supreme Court in May 2021.
A 5-judge bench of the Supreme Court in May 2021 said that the Maratha community was not socially and educationally backward. It also refused a review petition in April 2023 declaring that the law which granted quota was unconstitutional.
Protest may impact next year's Lok Sabha elections
The protests are taking place at a time when there is less than a year left for the Lok Sabha elections. The Opposition parties in Maharashtra have extended support to agitators and so does the present CM Shinde-led government. However, with several bandhs called in parts of the state, it may impact the election environment given that there have been continued hiccups in the tenure of the Maharashtra government.
Maratha's didn't want to be labelled as backward
The Maratha community didn't want to be labelled as backward, however, in 1990s and after the implementation of the Mandal commission report, which gave 27 per cent reservation to OBCs, the community started to think otherwise.
Maharashtra CM says committed to provide reservation to Maratha community
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said his government was committed to providing reservation to this community in education and government jobs.
Shinde also said that there was no misunderstanding between him and two deputy chief ministers in the state and that all of them were working as a good team.
"My government is committed to giving reservation to the Maratha community in the state. We will not sit quiet until the community get its due reservation," Shinde said.
"Till the Maratha community gets reservation, the government schemes that are already in place will continue and deserving people from the Maratha community will benefit from it," he added.