The crisis within the Maharashtra cabinet worsened on Wednesday with revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil demanding the immediate resignation of his ministerial colleague Chhagan Bhujbal.
While Vikhe-Patil is a Maratha, Bhujbal is the face of the OBC community.
Bhujbal has made it clear that Marathas should not be given reservation in matters of government jobs and education by drawing upon the OBC quota.
He has made it clear that the OBC quota should remain untouched.
Chief minister Eknath Shinde endorsed Bhujbal's stand and said that was the stated position of the government.
Shinde's statement has come as a big relief to Bhujbal who is being increasingly targeted by several Marathas within the cabinet and elsewhere.
However, Vikhe-Patil took a different line and demanded that Bhujbal put in his papers immediately. Bhujbal has clarified several times that he was not against the Marathas.
He said he would fully back the Marathas' demand so long as the OBCs' interests are fully protected. It is learnt that several other ministers belonging to the Maratha caste are also upset with Bhujbal. But the latter is firm on his stand.