Congress MLA Anjali Nimbalkar has said that Maratha community voters would boycott the elections if the government failed to re-categorise the community into Other Backward Classes 2A.
She told journalists in Dharwad on Sunday that this boycott would start from the Belagavi Lok Sabha bypolls and Maski and Basavakalyan Assembly bypolls itself.
Dr. Nimbalkar is an MLA from Khanapur which is part of Belagavi district but has been included in Canara Parliamentary seat. She belongs to the Maratha Kshatriya community. The former Chief Minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chauhan is her first cousin.
“The demand of the Marathas is long pending and if it is not accepted immediately, the community would take drastic steps, including boycotting the elections,” she said.
She was in Dharwad to participate in a conference of the Maratha Kshatriya community. She also set a deadline of seven days for the re-categorisation. She welcomed the State government decision to form the Maratha Development Corporation. She noted that the government had set aside ₹ 500 crore for the Veerashaiva Lingayat Development Corporation while the Maratha corporation was given ₹ 50 crore. “However, we don’t need any funds. We only seek inclusion of the community under category 2A,” she said.
The State-level meeting of the association has decided to take out silent protest marches across the State, if the State government failed to initiate the re-categorisation process.
At the meeting, Dr. Nimbalkar said that Marathas in Karnataka had imbibed the language and culture of the land. “Even though Marathas have special affiliation towards Mumbai, they have blended with the locals here, and they speak Kannada. They are ambassadors of Kannada culture,” she added.
MLC Srinivas Mane demanded that the government issue orders constituting the Maratha corporation, setting aside funds and appointing a chairman.
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