Nana Patole casts doubts on state Advocate General Kumbhkoni over OBC issue

Nana Patole said his party would urge the state government not to hold local body elections in five districts.

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee president Nana Patole on Sunday made an oblique reference to state Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhkoni, saying his party would put up its stance before Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to know who was “putting hurdles in the state’s plan” to ensure political reservations to OBCs.

Addressing media persons here, Patole said, “The state government wants to ensure that the OBCs are not divested of their rights but there always are some zaritle shukracharya (Marathi usage for people causing hurdles). State Advocate General Kumbhkoni was there during the previous government and is also there with the present government. Generally, the incumbent changes with change of government. So, we will have to check out (tapasave lagel). We will have to put up our stance before the CM about Kumbhkoni.”

Patole said his party would urge the state government not to hold local body elections in five districts and, if need be, move the Supreme Court to seek the census data for OBCs (Other Backward Classes) from the Centre.

“The government should move the SC to seek the data which is crucial for settling the question of OBCs’ political reservation. The state government wants to ensure it but for that, the Centre should provide it with the data,” Patole said.

Patole blamed the previous Fadnavis government for the “mess” of the OBC reservation issue. “Then CM Devendra Fadnavis had issued a circular saying his government was collecting empirical data about OBCs and had used it to put off the Nagpur zilla parishad election. When our government came to power in state, the election was held and Congress won it. So the whole issue was started by then government,” Patole said.

He further said, “OBC caste-wise census is necessary for their social, political and educational development. The State Backward Class Commission has sought Rs 450 crore for conducting OBC census in the state. The state government should provide the required funds and the census must be carried out in Maharashtra.”

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