Maharashtra deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis. (File photo/PTI)
The Shinde government also issued a notification to recognise as Kunbis all blood relatives of the Maratha community whose Kunbi caste records have been found. Kunbis, an agrarian community, are part of the OBC segment in the state
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said OBCs need not have any apprehension about the state government’s notification in connection with activist Manoj Jarange’s Maratha quota stir and also schooled his cabinet colleague Chhagan Bhujbal on issuance of Kunbi certificates. Jarange called of his fast earlier in the day after the state government said it had accepted all his demands, with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde announcing that till Marathas get reservation, the community will be given benefits enjoyed by Other Backward Classes.
The Shinde government also issued a notification to recognise as Kunbis all blood relatives of the Maratha community whose Kunbi caste records have been found. Kunbis, an agrarian community, are part of the OBC segment in the state.
Bhujbal, state minister and a member of the Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP, had called the move a ”backdoor entry” for Marathas into the OBC segment and had dubbed the notification as superficial and an eyewash. Speaking to reporters in Nagpur, Fadnavis said, ”OBCs need not be afraid (of the notification). No injustice will be done to them.” ”I want to tell Bhujbal that Kunbi certificates will not be given to those who cannot show proof of Kunbi records. The decision (of the state government) will benefit those who have records but have not been able to obtain caste certificates,” the senior BJP leader asserted.
Fadnavis, who holds the home portfolio in the Shinde government, also clarified that FIRs will not be withdrawn against those who had indulged in arson and had damaged public property during the course of the quota stir. He added that no such demand had been made either.
As per the notification issued by the state government, Kunbi caste certificates will be issued upon submission of an affidavit by the applicant establishing relations with his blood relatives – uncle, nephew and other members of his family as well as ”patriarchal” relatives – who have found Kunbi records being the applicants’ ”sage soyare” (blood relatives). Bhujbal, a prominent OBC leader, has been routinely opposing Jarange’s demand of giving Kunbi certificates to all Marathas in the state.