Mumbai | Union Minister Narayan Rane on Monday opposed the Maharashtra government's decision to issue Kunbi certificates to members of the Maratha community and said "proud Marathas" would not want to be included in the Kunbi segment to avail reservation benefits.
"Proud Marathas would not get included in Kunbis and seek benefits of reservations. This could mean an encroachment over the existing OBCs," Rane, a former chief minister and senior BJP leader, said in a post on social media platform X.
"It is my request to the Maharashtra government not to suppress the Maratha community that has a glorious history of wars and battles. It is a delicate matter that the state needs to study deeply," he further said.
Marathas, at nearly four crore, comprise 32 per cent of the state's population, Rane said, adding that "caste, religion and country is superior than any post".
Rane, when he was in the Congress, headed a committee on Maratha quota, though granting such benefits on its recommendations did not pass the legal test.
On Sunday, Rane had also expressed disapproval of the state government's decision to give Kunbi certificates to kin based on caste certificates or old documents.
His opposition comes amid state minister Chhagan Bhujbal expressing similar views.
Bhujbal, a senior OBC leader, on Sunday said protests will be held outside the residences of MLAs, MPs and tehsildars on February 1 against the state government's decision regarding the Maratha quota.
Bhujbal's announcement came after Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange called off his stir on Saturday following the state government saying it had accepted his demands.
A draft notification issued by the government had accepted the demand of Jarange regarding the issuance of Kunbi caste (OBC) certificates to the "sage soyre" (blood relatives) of Marathas.