State hoodwinking Dhangars: Hardik

first_imgThe Maharashtra government has no intention of granting reservation to the Dhangar community and is merely using delaying tactics, Patidar quota agitation spearhead Hardik Patel said on Tuesday.Mr. Patel was addressing a large rally of the Dhangar (shepherd) community at Arewadi in the Kavathe-Mahankal taluk of Sangli district, 240 km from here. The Dhangar community, which has long been demanding inclusion into the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs), had invited the Patidar leader.Mr. Patel said that educational, economic and political reservation ought to be accorded in each State on the basis of population. “The BJP government in Maharashtra has been fobbing off the Dhangar community with false assurances of granting reservation … The community remains backward despite great statesmen like Yashwantrao Holkar and Ahilyabai Holkar belonging to this community,” he said. The Dhangars are currently included in the Vimukta Jati and Nomadic Tribes (VJNT) category.Dhangar leaders in Maharashtra contend that while their community brethren called ‘Dhangad’ in other parts of the country are eligible for the ST benefits, those in the State are denied the same owing to a long-standing typographical error. “The BJP government, by making a play over the words ‘Dhangar’ and ‘Dhangad’, has cunningly deprived the community of benefits of reservation so far,” Mr. Patel claimed.Before the 2014 Assembly election, the State BJP had gained support from some Dhangar leaders after promising reservation to the community. After the poll, it had inducted Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) Mahadev Jankar, a prominent Dhangar leader, into the State Cabinet. It had also commissioned a study on backwardness of the community from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.last_img