WITH A majority of their demands having been “implemented or taken to a logical end” by the state government, the Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM) has said it will not field candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
The party that held street agitation, staging silent rallies across Maharashtra in 2016, stated that 10 of their 15 demands have been met and dealt with while five remain unfulfilled.
“In June 2016, we held 58 silent rallies across the state. We concluded each rally with a charter of demands, listing out 15 proposals. We admit that except five demands, 10 demands have been accepted and enforced,” said Rajendra Kondane, chief coordinator of the MKM.
The party leaders said their demands were “controversial and complex, causing outrage in the community” but the five remaining demands will be pursued with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The five demands that remain unaddressed include dilution of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention) of Atrocities Act and decision to check the misuse of the Act by the SC/ST community against the Marathas; long-pending Karnataka-Maharashtra border dispute; adequate steps to ensure that Chhatrapati Shivaji’s life is not maligned by distorting history; government land in every district for Maratha Bhawan; and memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in the Arabian Sea.
At their review meeting, the MKM also noted that they should call a “truce” as the demand for 16 per cent Maratha reservation and the death sentence in the Kopardi rape and murder had been pronounced by the government.
A senior Maratha leader, associated with the MKM, said, “The government’s decision to give reservation to Marathas under special category of socially and educationally backward class took the steam out of our agitation.”
The leader added that the developments in the court is following a PIL that cannot be equated with government.
A senior BJP Cabinet minister, who was part of the sub-cabinet committee on Maratha quota, said, “The government’s intention was clear. Every demand raised by the community was addressed after adequate consultation with the MKM. Even the five pending issues will be addressed within the next six months.”
The 10 demands that were fulfilled leads with the government’s nod to 16 per cent reservation to Marathas in education and government jobs.
Another issue that caused outrage was the brutal rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl at Kopardi in Ahmednagar district. The case was expedited and the perpetrators awarded a death sentence.
The MKM said their demand to prevent farmer suicides through complete loan waiver and minimum support price for farm produce as recommended by the M S Swaminathan Commission Report has been partially implemented.