The entire opposition staged a walkout on Tuesday on the issue of reservation to the Dhangar (shepherd) community, even after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis assured that the government was committed to providing reservation benefits to this community by including it in the Scheduled Castes category.
Soon after the state assembly began business on Tuesday morning with the question hour, the opposition — members of the Congress, NCP, PWP and others — arrived in the House in shepherd attire, shouting slogans in favour of reservation benefits for the community. Fadnavis intervened and assured the House that the government was serious about doing so.
The BJP had assured in its election manifesto that it would provide reservation benefits to the Dhangar community. The Rastriya Samaj Party, led by MLC Mahadev Jankar, had taken out a march for this demand and the government, during the winter session held in Nagpur, had maintained that it would provide reservation benefits without hampering the quota given to other communities.
Fadnavis, while responding on Tuesday, pointed out that the decision of reservation to the Maratha community had faced hurdles in the HC and, hence, the government wants to bring the proposal for reservation in such a way that it stands in any court. However, the opposition led by Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil protested after CM’s statement and staged a walkout.