Rift widens: Sambhaji Brigade flays Shiv Sangram chief

Sambhaji Brigade, one of the organisations fighting for reservations for Maratha community in the state, on Friday lashed out at MLC and president of Shiv Sangram organisation Vinayak Mete saying he was messing up the issue for his political ambitions.

While Mete has demanded political reservation for Marathas, Sambhaji Brigade terming the issue as "social" has opposed the idea. The rift between the Maratha organisations is now getting widened as both the factions trying to get credit of organising all-party meeting on the issue in the backdrop of Assembly's winter session, claiming they have initiated it.

Anant Chonde, regional president of Sambhaji Brigade while talking to The Indian Express claimed that the Sambhaji Brigade, Maratha Seva Sangh, Akhil Bharatiya Maratha Mahasangh and Chhava had coordinated an all-party meeting on December 10 in Nagpur.

"Vinayak Mete is trying to get the credit of the issue for his political ambitions. He doesn't know the issue in depth. Only four organisations mentioned above were fighting for the cause for a long time. As it is a social issue we have dropped the demand of political reservation," he said.

Chonde criticised Mete saying he was MLC for 12 years but did not do anything on the issue. "Now, with the support of some small factions he is trying to hijack the issue of reservation. No party takes cognisance of Mete and as a result he is frustrated," he said.

"We had decided that we would not accommodate any political person in our campaign. It was Mete who self proclaimed himself as a leader for the cause," Chonde added.

Chonde also reiterated that the committee formed by the Sambhaji Brigade, Maratha Seva Sangh, Maratha Mahasangh and Chhava was the real Maratha coordination committee.

"We want reservations in jobs and education and not in politics. We are not demanding a share in present OBC category but a separate reservation," he said.

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