EVEN as lakhs turned up for the Maratha morcha in Satara on Monday, a village in Khatav taluka of the district set an unusual example by renaming itself. The gram panchayat of Gundewadi village has passed a resolution to rename itself ‘Marathanagar’.
The village has a population of 1,400. Sources said at a gram sabha presided over by sarpanch Poona Nikam on October 2 — Gandhi Jayanti — a resolution was passed unanimously to rename the village Marathanagar. All the villagers here belong to the Maratha community, it was stated. The resolution will now go the Zilla Parishad and the state government for approval.
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Meanwhile, according to activists, district officials and political leaders, a crowd of 10-20 lakh participated in the morcha in Satara on Monday, bringing the city to a grinding halt. In terms of participation, district officials said, the morcha was “historic”, as Satara had not witnessed anything like this in the past.
The rally started from ZP ground and ended at the district collectorate. Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, former minister Vilasrao Undalkar Patil, MP Udyanraje Bhosale, District Guardian Minister Vijay Shivtare, MLAs Shivendraraje Bhosale, Jaykumar Gore, Shashikant Shinde, Shambhuraj Desai, Makrand Patil and Eknath Shinde took part in it.
Women from the Satara royal family, including Kalpanaraje Bhosale, Damyantikaraje Bhosale and Vedantikaraje Bhosale were also at the forefront of the morcha.
The procession, like many others organised across Maharashtra recently, was peaceful. A memorandum was handed over to district collector Ashwin Mudgal, demanding, among other things, amendment to the Atrocities Act, reservation for the Maratha community and death penalty for the Kopardi rape-murder accused.