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Fadnavis reaches out to OBCs as Marathas ready for bandh

Published On : 08 Aug 2018   |  Reported By : Courtesy: The Hindu   |  Pic On: Photo credit : The Hindu

Mumbai, (The Hindu): Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday promised to make available Rs.500 crore to the Other Backward Class (OBC) Corporation in the next two budgets, and a time-bound programme to fill vacant posts for reserved category candidates. He was speaking after inaugurating the third conference of the National OBC Mahasangh.

Meanwhile, undeterred by Mr. Fadnavis’s appeal on Sunday, Maratha organisations demanding reservation in government jobs and education have given a call for a State-wide bandh, except in Navi Mumbai, on Thursday.

Bharat Ratna for Phules?
Speaking at the inauguration, Mr. Fadnavis said the State government has made a recommendation to posthumously honour Mahatma Jyotiba Phule and Savitribai Phule with the Bharat Ratna.

“We have formed a separate ministry for OBCs. After 70 years, Parliament has passed a Bill giving constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes. We will announce whether the OBCs were given representation in employment in the reserved category, and if that has not happened, we will announce a time-bound programme to do the same,” he said.

Peaceful stir
The Maratha Kranti Morcha plans to mark its second anniversary through the State-wide bandh on Thursday. “The first silent march of the Marathas was organised in Aurangabad two years ago. Since then, despite our repeated demands, the government has failed Marathas on every front. We are calling for a peaceful State-wide bandh on Thursday to reiterate our demands,” said Bhaiya Patil, media coordinator of the Maratha Kranti Morcha.

Navi Mumbai exempt
The Sakal Maratha Samaj, however, said on Tuesday that Navi Mumbai, which witnessed violence during the July 25 protest, would be exempt from the bandh. The decision was taken after a community meeting in Pune. “Our community has always lived peacefully with the Agri and Koli community in Navi Mumbai. But on July 25, during our protest, some miscreants misused our name and committed violent acts. A young boy died, and we don’t want something like that to happen again. Even if we decide to keep the protest peaceful, there are miscreants who would take advantage of the situation,” Mathadi leader Narendra Patil said.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Sudhakar Pathare, Zone I, Navi Mumbai Police, said, however, that police bandobast will be in place to ensure peace in the city.

On Sunday, Mr. Fadnavis in an appeal aired on State-run television channel Doordarshan Sahyadri, had asked the Maratha community to maintain peace and assured to fulfil the demand for reservation by November.

He had also said that the report of the Backward Class Commission would be tabled soon, after which a special legislative session would be convened.


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