Maha BJP ready to agitate for Marathas under any leader: Chandrakant Patil

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Pune, May 24 (PTI) BJP workers are ready to take part in any agitation for Maratha quota without holding the party banner or flag in the larger interest of the community, Maharashtra unit BJP president Chandrakant Patil said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters, Patil said though the Centre has filed a review petition against the Supreme Court's verdict striking down the Maratha reservation law, 'it is the responsibility of the state government to prove that the community is backward and there is an exceptional situation where the ceiling of 50 per cent reservation needs to be breached'.

'The BJP's stand on the Maratha reservation issue is clear. In the interest of the Maratha community, we will take part in any agitation for Maratha quota like common citizens irrespective of which party or leader is leading it, be it Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, Vinayak Mete, Rajendra Kondhare, or Vinod Patil,' he said.

Queried about Sambhajiraje not getting the appointment with Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue, Patil said, 'PM feels the issue (Maratha reservation ) is more of state than the Centre. What is the use of meeting the PM when the issue falls under the purview of the state government?' He said the Centre had told the apex court that even after the 102nd Constitutional amendment, states have the right to extend quota to any backward community.

The Supreme Court on May 5 struck down the Maharashtra law granting quota to Marathas in admissions and government jobs, terming it as 'unconstitutional', and held there were no exceptional circumstances to breach the 50 per cent reservation cap set by the 1992 Mandal verdict. PTI SPK NSK NSK