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Separate ministry for 32% OBCs in Maharashtra

FPJ Bureau | Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 10:22 AM IST

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Mumbai: In an attempt to appease the Other Backward Class (OBC) who were upset after the Maratha community’s aggressive stand demanding reservation of seats for jobs and education, the Maharashtra state cabinet on Tuesday decided to form a separate ministry for the OBCs. This ministry will begin functioning from April 1 and will benefit 32 per cent population of the state.

The opposition parties, however, stand divided on this issue. Congress leaders have accused the Devendra Fadnavis government of creating a divide in the society by pitting castes against one another, whereas the Nationalist Congress Party has welcomed the decision.

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Currently, the social justice department caters to Schedule Caste (SC), OBCs, Special Backward Classes (SBC), Vimukta Jati (VJ-Denotified Tribes) and Nomadic Tribes (VJNT). The budget for social justice department is Rs 5,500 crore.

“Except SC, all other castes will be separated from the social justice department and will be included in the newly formed OBC ministry,” Sudhir

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Mungantiwar, minister for finance said. He said the budget would be bifurcated within three months, and staff of 52 officers, employees and a secretary will be appointed within this period.

Mungantiwar said that it is not necessary only an OBC minister will head this department. “It the decision of the chief minister whom to give charge of new ministry.”

The minister for social justice, Rajkumar Badole, said, “Out of total 63 schemes, 24 will be transferred to the OBC ministry and 3.83 crore beneficiaries will get benefit of the separate ministry.” Out of total 52 per cent reservation for various, OBCs have reservation up to 19 per cent in the state. Other classes within OBC including SBC have 2%, VJ (3%), NT-B (2.5%), NT-C (3.5% Dhangar) and NT-D (2% for Vanjari).

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Meanwhile, Leader of opposition Radhkrishna Vikhe Patil alleged it will create distance between caste and classes within society. “There was no need to form separate ministry for OBC, instead we need to implement schemes for them from social justice with priority, he said. NCP state president Sunil Tatkare while welcoming this decision said, it was Sharad Pawar who had dared to implement recommendations of Mandal.

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Published on: Wednesday, December 28, 2016, 07:25 AM IST