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  Metros   Mumbai  17 Nov 2018  Now other communities make similar demands

Now other communities make similar demands

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Nov 17, 2018, 1:17 am IST
Updated : Nov 17, 2018, 1:17 am IST

There are now five major communities in the state asking for a change in reservation category or reservation itself.

With the Maratha reservation issue seemingly at a turning point, Congress leaders have been demanding reservation for the Muslim community as well.
 With the Maratha reservation issue seemingly at a turning point, Congress leaders have been demanding reservation for the Muslim community as well.

Mumbai: The Maratha reservation issue has unleashed a Pandora’s box of similar demands for reservation by other communities such as Dhangar, Lingayat, Mahadev Koli and Muslim.

There are now five major communities in the state asking for a change in reservation category or reservation itself. The Dhangar (shepherd) community, currently in the nomadic tribes category, wants to be included in the scheduled tribes category. Dhangar leaders have been arguing that they are like the Dhankads of Rajasthan or Uttar Pradesh (UP) who come under the ST category.

The former Congress-NCP government cleared five per cent reservation for Muslims and the same was cleared by the Bombay high court as well. With the Maratha reservation issue seemingly at a turning point, Congress leaders have been demanding reservation for the Muslim community as well.

Other communities such as Mahadev Koli and Lingayat are also now demanding reservation. Similarly, a few groups of the Banjara community are asking that they be shifted to reservation category. Political analyst Anant Dikshit said, “There are many small communities but these are politically sensitive. A few communities have a decisive influence in some constituencies so when you take a decision for one community, others will also unite and protest. How BJP makes its way out of these remains to be seen.”

The BJP had assured that it would clear Dhangar reservation in the first cabinet if voted to power in 2014. This helped the BJP in almost 24 Assembly constituencies across the state so there will again be pressure for clearance of reservation for the Dhangar community. Dhangar leaders have already issued warning that they will stage agitations if the state government fails to keep its promise.

Session agenda

The State Backward Class Commission report on Maratha reservations is expected to dominate the two-week long winter session of the Maharashtra Legislature set to begin Monday. The winter session, being held in city after 57 years will end on November 30. A decision on whether proceedings of the House would be held on Guru Nanak Jayanti on November 23 will be decided later.

The prevailing drought in several parts of the state is also expected to be at the centre of acrimonious debates between the government and the Opposition in the Assembly and Legislative Council. The Opposition has already been in attack mode on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement, made during a rally in Shirdi, that 16,000 villages in the state were now drought-free.

Another issue that is expected to generate heat is the killing of tigress Avni. The tigress, who had allegedly killed 13 people in Yavatmal district's Pandharkawda area in the last two years, was shot dead by a marksman hired by the government in a forest in Yavatmal on November 2.

The BJP-led government in the state has come under fire over the killing of the tigress who left behind two 10-month-old cubs. The killing led to an outrage among animal lovers and wildlife organisations which accused the state government of violating norms. The state government set up a four-member committee to probe the killing. A post mortem report has revealed that the tigress was shot while she was facing away from the shooter and it has also raised doubts on the way the tranquiliser dart was administered. While Union Minister Maneka Gandhi called the killing a "ghastly murder" and demanded that state Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar be sacked, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has dubbed the probe committee a "farce". Mungantiwar and the state government have, however, defended it, calling the incident "sad" but necessary after the tigress had attacked forest staff trying to tranquilise it.

Tags: maratha reservation, dhangar community