Ambedkar told The Indian Express, "It is a battle between the rich and poor Marathas. The poor and oppressed class within the community will have to show courage and come out on the streets and agitate. They will have to fight for their rights."
Calling the Maratha reservation a battle between the rich and poor, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) president Prakash Ambedkar expressed solidarity with the community and asked it to “fight for their rights”.
Ambedkar told The Indian Express, “It is a battle between the rich and poor Marathas. The poor and oppressed class within the community will have to show courage and come out on the streets and agitate. They will have to fight for their rights.”
He said the VBA was ready to give its full support to the cause.
The Maratha reservation, which promised quota in education and jobs to the community, was stayed by the Supreme Court last week.
Ambedkar said the reservation issue was not as simple, and that the matter would be referred to a larger constitutional bench.
But he questioned the existing undercurrents and “reality” that had, for several decades, made the rich richer and the poor poorer among the Marathas, which was the ruling class of Maharashtra.
“Out of a total of 288 MLAs, 182 belong to the Maratha community. These are the rich class.” According to the VBA president, there were famous, rich and influential families interlinked socially and economically, and those outside the ambit were the struggling class.
With this, the VBA, which has so far focused on oppressed segments, catering to Other Backward Classes, Dalits and tribals, seems to be widening its scope to tap into other communities.
Earlier, a month ago, Ambedkar had led an agitation at the temple town of Pandharpur demanding temples be reopened. Although he said the fight was for livelihoods linked to activities around pilgrimage centres, the party aimed at gathering support from “poor Hindus”.
“The foundation of the VBA is to reach out to poor classes. Its fight is for the rights of poor and oppressed sections,” Ambedkar added
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