At 52%, OBCs eye for a larger slice of fund pie
BL Soni

A day after Maharashtra Cabinet’s decisions to provide Marathas benefits under the EBC quota, increased fund allocation for scholarship and hostel charges, the politically influential OBC community with 52% population in the state has demanded that the government provide funds based on its population and they should not be neglected.

NCP veteran and Minister of Food and Civil Supplies Chhagan Bhujbal and Congress leader and Minister of Relief and Rehabilitation Vijay Wadettiwar have said the government should also look sympathetically and allocate more funds to the various state undertakings and boards operational for the OBC community development in the state.

Bhujbal and Wadettiwar, who is also the minister of OBC and VJNT welfare, have sought an intervention of the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and DCM Ajit Pawar saying that the OBCs are still deprived of development and the government needs to give more attention on that front. Both have made it amply clear that they are not against the government’s decisions announced on Tuesday for the benefit of Maratha community, neither they are opposed to the reservation of 12% in education and 13% in government jobs for Maratha students and youths under the Socially and Economically Backward Classes Act,2018.

Wadettiwar today met Thackeray while he will hold a meeting with Pawar on Thursday making a strong case for higher fund allocation and opportunities for the OBCs. ‘’I am not opposed to giving anything to the Maratha community, but the leaders of the OBC community met me and demanded that the government should also help the OBC community which constitutes 52% of the state population,’’ he said. He added that the government needs to provide more funds for OBC Corporations and Vasantrao Naik Vimukta Jatis And Nomadic Tribes Development Corporation.

Wadettiwar said although OBCs are provided 27% reservation in the state. ‘’ The reality is that of the 27% quota 8% is reserved for nomadic tribes and vimukta jamiti. Hence, OBCs enjoy only 19% reservation. The government needs to provide additional funding and new avenues for the development of the OBC community,’’ he noted.

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