In a latest development, amid the ongoing issues over the reservation of Other Backward Class in Maharashtra, Dr Ashok Jiwtode, National Coordinator of the OBC Federation on Tuesday joined Nationalist Congress Party in presence of party chief Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and party leader Jayant Patil.
Mr Jiwtode is playing a vital role in taking the OBC movement forward in Maharashtra.
The OBC leader joined the party at Yashwantrao Pratishthan in Mumbai.
OBCs are on the verge of losing their political reservation in local bodies across Maharashtra as it was quashed by the Supreme Court last month.
The Apex court decision has come at the time when OBCs were already worried about losing a share in their existing 27% reservation in government jobs and education following demands made by the Maratha community to incorporate them in the OBC category as they have lost their reservation benefits following another verdict of the Supreme Court.
The apex court had directed that the Zilla Parishad elections be held on the basis of 27 percent reservation. The OBC reservation issue is of political importance as the community, though fragmented into nearly 382 castes, makes up nearly 52% of the state’s population.
On July 5, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators had staged a protest outside Maharashtra Legislative Assembly with sloganeering and holding banners on the issue of OBC reservation, Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC), and farmers distress.
Speaking on the issue of OBC reservation, Leader of Opposition (LoP) Devendra Fadnavis claimed that the proposal which the state government was going to table in this session was "meaningless". Until they fulfil conditions put by the apex court to prepare empirical data, OBC reservation cannot be retired, he added.