Pune: State unit spokesperson of Congress Gopaldada Tiwari on Tuesday stated that it is imperative in the interest of the society that the people realise Bharatiya Janata Party leadership’s design to exploit the issue of Maratha reservation for its benefit.
Speaking at a signature campaign organised to support the agitation for Maratha Reservation, Tiwari said the Congress has taken the honest stand that reservation must be provided to the Maratha community without touching the quota for other castes.
The signature campaign organised on the Fergusson College Road to support hunger strike of Manoj Jarange Patil received an overwhelming response from the citizens, especially the youths. The campaign was organised by the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Nagar – Maratha Samaj. Sandip More of Dutta Utsav Samiti and the Working President of Shiv Mudra Vikas Sanstha Atul Dighe coordinated the campaign.
Recollecting that the process to provide reservations for Maratha community had started during the rule of Congress under the then Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Tiwari said the Narayan Rane committed appointed by Chavan conducted survey over several months, recorded statements of approximately 18 lakh persons belonging to the community from across the state. He added, that because of this, Congress cannot ignore the plight of members of Maratha community and their conditions.
Tiwari said, “After coming to rule in the center, Bharatiya Janata Party made the 102nd Constitutional Amendment and stripped the States of powers to provide reservation through a Government Resolution dated 11th August 2018. BJP leadership did this to exploit the issue of reservation for its benefit in the elections and to ensure that uncertainty prevails about the reservation.”
He pointed out that Congress and other opposition parties had extended wholehearted support to the proposal to provide reservations for Maratha community based on Gaikwad Commission report tabled before the State Legislative Assembly in 2019 by the government led by the then Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. “When the decision was challenged before the Bombay High Court, the BJP, keeping its eyes on the benefit for the party in the elections, systematically called the advocate of Central Government in the court and assured that the Government Resolution concerning the decision will not be affected by the 102nd Constitutional Amendment. The Bombay High Court approved the reservation for Maratha community while accepting the submission made by the advocate and Fadnavis took advantage of it by cheering up and asking the Maratha community to play gulal during Diwali festival,” he said.
Tiwari added, “However, when the case reached the Supreme Court during the tenure of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government later on, the Supreme Court rejected the reservation for the Maratha Community citing the same 102nd Constitutional Amendment of 19th August 2018. Following this, the Bharatiya Janata Party indulged in vile politics by blaming the MVA government for failing to retain the reservation in the Supreme Court. However, it remained silent on the then Fadnavis government calling the Central Government’s advocate before the Bombay High Court to give a reply to the Court’s objection concerning the 102nd Constitutional Amendment.”
Sr Congress leader said, “The top leadership of BJP has no tolerance for democracy, powers of states, etc, and being full of pride and dictatorial tendency, it wants people of all communities to bow down and get suppressed. As a result, the BJP is boasting about a 10% quota for the economically backward and pretending that it is the savior of the country although it pays no heed to the public will.
That is why advertisements asking people to avail benefit of 10% quota are abundant. The three-party government in the State too is trying to end the reservation using similar tactics and that is why the leaders who have joined BJP are not waking up to the difference between Kunbi and Maratha like the difference between Bharat and India.”
A large number of workers of MVA member parties Congress and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) led by Prof Valmik Jagtap, Ganesh Dighe and Mohan Dighe, Shyam Marne, Mayur Uttekar, Kaka Chavan, Datta Ubhe, Prasanna More, Sunil Shirke, Adv Swapnil Jagtap, Ganesh Shinde, Avinash Bahirat, Sachin Bahirat, Baba Sayyed participated in the signature campaign.