Now, OBCs to hold march in Mumbai to safeguard existing ‘quota’ from Marathas

Now, OBCs to hold march in Mumbai to safeguard existing 'quota' from Marathas
The OBC community will take out a march from Byculla to Azad Maidan on Monday to ensure that the 16% reservation granted to Marathas does not encroach upon their existing quota (Representational Image)

Barely two days after farmers suspended their long march to Mumbai, members of the Other Backward Class (OBC) communities from Maharashtra are set to organise a march in the city.

The community leaders will hold protests on Monday, which marks the first day of the state legislature session, to safeguard their existing quota and oppose the state government’s probably move to include Marathas into the OBC category.

On Friday, OBC VJNT Sangharsh Samiti convener Chandrakant Bavkar announced that its members will take out the ‘Elgaar Morcha’ from Byculla in south Mumbai to Azad Maidan on February 25.

Representatives of over 250 castes under the OBC category along with members of 58 Vimukta Jati (denotified tribes) and Nomadic Tribes (VJNT) castes will join the protest, Bavkar said.

The committee is demanding scrapping of the 16 percent quota granted to Marathas by the state last year and nullifying the report of Maharashtra State Backward Classes Commission (MSBCC), which was the basis for granting quota to the Marathas.

The Maratha community was granted reservation in government jobs and education under a new independent category called as the Socially and Educationally Backward Class (SEBC).

The OBC community is demanding that their existing quota should not be disturbed and that Marathas can be put into the OBC category as long as the High Court cancels the 16 percent reservation granted to the sizeable community.

“The state may shift Marathas to the OBC category if the reservation does not stand in the court. We want the OBC and VJNT quota secured. Marathas should be given another quota apart from OBC and VJNT,” Bavkar was quoted as saying.

Even as the Bombay High Court is hearing several petitions challenging the Maratha quota, the OBC community has sought a comprehensive socio-economic and caste census in Maharashtra.

Apart from 16 percent quota for Marathas, the state has previously granted reservation to Scheduled Castes (13 percent), Scheduled Tribes (7 percent), OBCs (19 percent), and Nomadic, Denotified Tribes & Special Backward Category (13 percent).

In addition to these, the state cabinet also approved a 10 percent quota to Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) in the unreserved categories, taking the overall reservation in the state to a staggering 78 percent.

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