Mumbai: A senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader has said the Marathas are not loyal to any political party and the Bharatiya Janata Party is unlikely to benefit from the quota issue. The NCP had committed the same mistake in 2014, aggressively raising the Maratha reservation issue, he said, and ended up being the biggest loser.
The leader also claimed though the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government is ready to grant reservation to the community, the party will not benefit by this decision. Speaking to the Free Press Journal, the leader, requesting confidentiality, admitted the NCP is in favour of Maratha reservation but does not want to share dais with Maratha youths who sat on protest for their demand.
“We had committed a mistake before 2014 assembly polls by openly supporting the Maratha quota issue. The NCP is known as a pro-Maratha party. However, the decision to give 16 per cent quota, which could not stand in court, went against the party. We lost so many seats in the Maratha belt only because of the quota issue,” said the Maratha leader, who holds a key position in the party. He added,
“The day the Backward Class Commission report on the Maratha quota will be opened, someone will challenge it in court and bring a stay on its implementation. The joy of the Marathas will not last more than a week and once again, the community will go against the party which has taken the decision. Ultimately, the BJP will be the biggest loser on the Maratha issue.” “The very force with which the BJP will raise the issue of Maratha quota to get credit, will boomerang, as other communities, including Dhangars, Lingayats and Other Backward Classes (OBCs), will go against the party,” the leader averred.