MUMBAI: After Maratha agitation for reservation, now, the Dhangar community is becoming aggressive about the same demand. Dhangars are demanding inclusion of their community in Schedule Tribe (ST) category instead of the VJNT. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is going to hold a second meeting regarding the demands of Dhangar community soon.
The government has received representation on the issue from the leaders of the Dhangar community across the State. They also demanded to hear from the chief minister. Water Conservation Minister Ram Shinde said that the government decided to hear their demand and discuss the other issues in the meeting. “Hence, the chief minister also agreed to hold a meeting with them. The meeting is happening on Monday, August 27,” said Shinde.
According to the Dhangar community leaders, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had promised during the assembly poll campaign that the government will fulfil their demands. The government also had given a commitment to include them in the ST category. After the assurance, the community supported BJP in the election. “Despite that, the decision has not been taken. The State government has appointed Tata Institute Social Sciences (TISS) to prepare a report on whether the community falls in the ST category or not,” said Navnath Padalkar, a leader from the community.
The TISS report on Dhangar reservation status is set to be handed over to the State government by August end.
Against the background of the agitations, the chief minister finalised a meeting with the Dhangar community. The meeting will be attended by present and former MLAs of the community, representatives of Dhangar organisations and concerned ministers and officials. The community is politically important for the BJP as it has a sizeable presence in several assembly constituencies of western Maharashtra and Marathwada regions.
“The TISS report on Dhangar reservation will be discussed in detail in the meeting and the government will definitely find some solution,” said Ram Shinde.