Thousands of aspirants for the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exams took to the streets of Pune on Thursday, to participate in a silent march and press for various demands. Organisers of the march said the response they received in Pune was “unprecedented”.
“Lakhs of students are studying for competitive exams in the city. We had campaigned extensively via social media…, “ said Rahul Kawthekar, one of the organisers. Among the students’ demands are increasing the number of advertised vacancies for government jobs and handing over the investigation into the dummy candidate racket to the CBI.
The march started from Shaniwarwada at 10.30 am and continued till the district collector’s office, where a delegation of students submitted their list of demands to Resident Deputy Collector Rajendra Muthe. Asked about the future course of action, Kawthekar said, “… If our demands are not taken into consideration, we will plan a joint agitation during the next assembly session in Mumbai, in coordination with various district committees that we have formed.”
“Our silent march was totally apolitical… all of us, aspirants for competitive exams, had made efforts to make it successful. We have not approached any political leader or political party. But if a leader or a party extends support to our cause, we will welcome that support,” said Rajesh More, another organiser. The students have received support from Dhananjay Munde, leader of opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, who said the demands put forward by them were “legitimate”. He also questioned Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis about the lack of government jobs and fewer vacant seats this year.
In a post on Twitter, Munde said, “It is unfortunate that students preparing to enter the administration are themselves on the streets, agitating against the government for jobs”. The marches are scheduled to be held in 15 districts, and in several cities like Baramati, Kolhapur, Ahmednagar, Nanded and Latur.