Raigad (Maharashtra) : Rattling Maharashtra’s political landscape, Shivba Sanghatana leader Manoj Jarange-Patil on Tuesday said that he favours reservations for the Muslims and a change of category for Dhangar community.
Fresh from his victory over the Maratha quotas issue on January 27, Jarange-Patil visited the historic hilltop Raigad Fort, the capital of the Maratha Empire and paid respects to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
Interacting with media persons, he said that presently, the Maratha quota is still a burning issue, and after it is resolved, he would pay attention to Muslim and Dhangars.
“After the Marathas get their due, I will see how Muslims and Dhangars also do not get their reservations,” declared Jarange-Patil, with a steely resolve.
The Muslim community has been demanding a revival of the 5 per cent quota given over 10 years ago, but stuck up owing to certain legal-technical issues, and opposition leaders like state Congress Working President M. Arif Naseem Khan, Samajwadi Party state President Abu Asim Azmi and others Muslim groups raising it regularly with the government.
Interestingly, during his long march from Jalna to Navi Mumbai from January 20-26, en route, the Muslim community had warmly welcomed and hosted Jarange-Patil at various locations, including once in a ‘madrassa’, and even took good care of the large number of Marathas marching with him.
The nomadic shepherds, Dhangars, who get reservation under Nomadic Tribes (C) category of 3.5 per cent, have been clamouring to be categorised as Scheduled Tribes which are entitled to 7 per cent, and have organised several agitations in the past.
The Dhangar leaders claim that ‘Dhangar’ and ‘Dhangad’ are the same and a typographical error here had deprived them of the benefits to get quotas under ST category as in some other states.