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Marathas may contest Maharashtra assembly polls if quota demand not met by June 6: Manoj Jarange

The Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra will be held in five phases from April 19 to May 20 and state assembly polls are due later this year

PTI Mumbai Published 14.04.24, 01:00 PM
Manoj Jarange

Manoj Jarange File photo

Activist Manoj Jarange on Sunday said that while he has decided to stay away from the Lok Sabha poll fray, the Maratha community members might contest the Maharashtra assembly elections if they are not provided reservation till June 6.

The Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra will be held in five phases from April 19 to May 20 and state assembly polls are due later this year.


Vote counting for the Lok Sabha polls will be held on June 4.

"We are not involved in politics. We have not aligned with any party, neither the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi nor the ruling Mahayuti. We have not fielded any candidate and neither supported anyone," Jarange told reporters in Navi Mumbai.

He was heading to 'Chaityabhoomi' in neighbouring Mumbai to pay homage to Dr B R Ambedkar on his birth anniversary.

The ruling Mahayuti in Maharashtra comprises the Shiv Sena-led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, BJP and Ajit Pawar-headed NCP.

The Congress, Shiv Sena (UBT) headed by former CM Uddhav Thackeray and Sharad Pawar-led NCP (SP) are constituents of the opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi.

"I am not contesting the election this time, but the (Maratha) community knows who will win and lose," Jarange said.

He criticised the Mahayuti government, accusing it of betraying the Maratha community by postponing crucial decisions on the reservation issue for seven months.

"They (referring to all political parties) have cheated the Maratha community for 40 years. We are prepared to contest the assembly elections wholeheartedly," he said.

"If they do not give (reservation) till June 6, then we will prepare for the assembly elections cent per cent. Maratha Samaj will do this. I may also start a fast on June 5," the activist said.

In February this year, both houses of the state legislature unanimously passed a bill providing 10 per cent separate reservation for the Maratha community in education and government jobs.

Jarange, who held hunger strikes earlier at Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district, has been insisting on quota for the Marathas under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

The activist also alleged the complicity of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio, in the firing by police on protesters demanding Maratha reservation last year and the police action going on against the community members, specially women.

He appealed to the Maratha community members to come out in large numbers to vote in the Lok Sabha polls.

"The community must unite and vote with conviction. Defeat them with such force that they fear the Maratha vote. Defeating the candidates is a victory in itself," he said, but did not specify whether he was referring to candidates of the ruling side or the opposition.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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