Pune: Samasta Dhangar Samaj has announced its decision to launch a statewide agitation demanding reservation for the community in Schedule Tribe (ST) category from Wednesday.
The announcement was made during a press conference held at an art gallery on Ghole Road. While launching this agitation, the leaders from the community warned that the State government will be responsible for maintaining law and order, as it has failed to keep the promise given to the community four years ago.
The leaders from Dhangar community held a press conference at Ghole Road Art Gallery hall on Tuesday.
Leaders from several political parties joined hands to devise a strategy for the agitation. Dhangar leaders, including former state legislator Prakash Shendge, Anna Dange, Ravihari Rupanvar, Ram Wadkute, Datta Bharne and Pune Zilla Parishad Chairman Vishwas Devkate were present for this press conference.
While addressing the conference, Shendge refuted the report submitted by Tata Institute of Social Sciences
He claimed, “Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) is not a constitutionally recognised body. Hence, we are
against the report submitted by them. The government had asked TISS to submit a report to study the status of Dhangar community to know if the community is eligible for reservation under Scheduled Tribes (ST) category.”
Shendge claimed that the Dhangar community falls in the category of Nomadic Tribes (NT), and hence, it wants reservation under Scheduled Tribes (ST), as the benefits are more because while NT is specific to the State, ST gives the community more liberty for applying for reservations in education and employment.
Shendge informed that on the same issue, some factions from the community have announced an agitation from August 1, 2018. He, however, added, “Some leaders have also announced an agitation for reservation. But we don’t have differences with them as our agenda is the same.”
Claiming that the Dhangar community comprises 14 per cent of the population, Anna Dange, another leader, said, “Right now, we don’t have a political reservation. If we are included in the ST category, our community will get a share of around 20 reserved seats in State Assembly polls and around 5 seats in Lok Sabha. It will help us to get adequate political representation.”
Dange added, “Other communities do not want this, hence, they are blocking us from getting reservation under the ST category.