After Maratha quota, now Ramdas Athawale, the president of Republican Party of India (RPI) and Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, has said that his ministry would propose political reservation for candidates belonging to the Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribes (VJNT) in the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly election.
According to the Indian Express, RPI chief suggested that either the VJNT community be awarded separate reservation of about 8 percent to 10 percent or be merged with the existing Other Backward Classes (OBCs), who hold 27 percent political reservation at present. “The position of those belonging to the VJNT is worse than those from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Reservation will be important for their upliftment. I will take up the matter with the Chief Minister,” Athawale said while addressing a press meeting.
The Athawale-led RPI, which is part of NDA, will contest the Maharashtra Assembly elections on its own symbol and will keep the alliance with the BJP. Athawale also said that his party will seek 10 seats for the upcoming state assembly polls. “We (RPI) are a stable party in Maharashtra and we shall seek 10 out of the 18 seats that are identified as non-BJP and non-Shiv Sena. We hope to field at least one candidate in Pune district this election,” Athawale told the Indian Express.