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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Quota demand: Maharashtra govt extends support to Maratha community’s sit-in protest plan

The agitation will begin from the Chhatrapati Shahu Samadhi Sthal in Kolhapur and will later be held in 36 districts of the state.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: June 15, 2021 6:23:59 pm
Ajit PawarAjit Pawar, who held a meeting to review the Covid situation in the district, said that after taking inputs from health experts, it has been decided to continue with the restrictions, under which markets have to shut at 4 pm.  (File photo)

The Maha Vikas Aghadi government has extended support to the silent sit-in protests being launched on Wednesday by the Maratha community to press for its demand for reservation in education and jobs. The agitation will begin from the Chhatrapati Shahu Samadhi Sthal in Kolhapur and will later be held in 36 districts of the state.

“Kolhapur District Guardian Minister Hasan Mushrif, Congress minister Satej Patil and all district MLAs will be present at the sit-in protests being launched by the Maratha community in Kolhapur. The government is extending support to the silent protest,” Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said on Tuesday.

Pawar said the government tried to convince the Maratha community to hold a dialogue instead of resorting to the sit-in protests. “Through dialogue, some solution can be found. However, they decided to go ahead with the agitation…,” he said.

MP Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati, who is leading the silent protest, said, “The Maratha community has been forced to hold the protest as the state government has remained indecisive over the key demands that we placed before them. There is no response from the state government to our demands which has led to our decision to hold the protests.”

Appealing to community leaders and members not to argue with the people’s representatives who will be present during the agitation, Sambhjairaje said, “Maratha community coordinators and others like students and youths will not speak. Only people’s representatives will be allowed to speak at the sit-in protests. We want to know their views… We want to know what they intend to do on the Maratha community’s demands for reservation. We feel a solution can be found if all the people’s representatives come together …”.

On Monday, Sambhajiraje and Udayanraje Bhosale had met in Pune and warned the government that its inaction on the community’s demand might lead to violence which would be difficult to control.

Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar has said there is no threat to the Maha Vikas Aghadi government till it has the support of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. “The Maha Vikas Aghadi government came into being after these three leaders decided to come together. Till they extend their support, there is no threat to the government,” he said.

His remarks came in the wake of MPCC chief Nana Patole expressing his desire to become the chief minister and announcing that the Congress will contest all future elections on its own. “For becoming the chief minister, a party needs the support of 145 MLAs,” Pawar said in response to Patole’s comment.

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