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Uproar in Council over ST status for Dhangar community

Uproarious scenes were witnessed in the Maharashtra Legislative Council on Monday with the NCP members storming into the well of the House to demand a discussion on the issue of Scheduled Tribe status to Dhangar community.

The House was adjourned four times amid the ruckus, first for 20 minutes, then twice for 10 minutes each and later for 15 minutes.

The Dhangar community members have been seeking an ST tag after the Marathas were granted reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.

As soon as the House assembled today, Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde said the demand for ST status to Dhangars was a serious issue and the government should answer why it failed to fulfil its poll promise.

“The BJP has time and again promised that they will provide Scheduled Tribe status to the people of Dhangar community. They came to power on the basis of this promise.

Lakhs of Dhangar people voted for them only because they had promised that they will be accorded ST status during the first Cabinet meeting of the government,” Munde said in the House.

He alleged that state Tribal Development Minister Vishnu Savara had said that under Constitution, Dhangars cannot be provided reservation.

“When he himself says this, it shows the government is not serious about this issue. They have become hypocrites,” Munde alleged.

Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) leader Mahadev Jankar, while replying to Munde, said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had called a meeting of the officials concerned four days back which was “positive” on the issue.

“For the last 65 years, they (the Dhangars) have not got justice. In 1997, we were the ones to take out the first morcha in front of Parliament in Delhi. I assure everybody that we are firm on our stand,” Jankar said.

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