Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje, a direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji and an influential Maratha leader, broke his silence on the politically sensitive Maratha reservation issue and asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) not to play with the sentiments of the community. Sambhajiraje, who is a Rajya Sabha member from the BJP, on Thursday, took an aggressive stand without taking BJP’s name and said he did not need any lessons from it. He announced that he will meet Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis on May 27 and later announce his stand on the issue. He claimed that the community members are not interested in claims and counterclaims, as they need justice. He urged the Maratha community members not to take any extreme steps, but maintain restraint. He warned the political parties not to mislead the Maratha community.
Sambhajiraje said he has not taken BJP’s brief and reiterated that no one should teach him how to agitate for the Maratha reservation cause. "I am presenting the stand of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj and the Maratha community. In the last few days, after the Supreme Court's verdict, there have been allegations and counter allegations while passing the buck onto each other. Some are saying that it is the responsibility of the state and some are of the view that it is the responsibility of the centre for the restoration of the Maratha quota, which has been struck down by the apex court,” said Sambhajiraje. He, however, added that the Maratha community has nothing to do with this.
“After the apex court order, I acted rationally and now my role is being questioned. People can fight for reservation if they survive. As a descendant of the Chhatrapati dynasty, I don't need anyone to teach me how to agitate,” he said. "Even though I have experience, there are many who have more knowledge on the question of Maratha reservation than me. I will discuss with them,’’ said Sambhajiraje.