Mumbai: The Maratha groups’ agitation for reservations continued for the 7th day in Jalna even as Congress’ Leader of Opposition (Assembly) Vijay Wadettiwar demanded a Special Session of Maharashtra Legislature to discuss and finalise the quotas for the community here on Monday.
Wadettiwar told mediapersons that the state government should convene a special sitting of the house to consider and finalise the Maratha quotas permanently.
Maratha groups have called for bandh in pockets of Jalna, Aurangabad, Solapur, Pune, Beed and other districts as police deployed tight security in all sensitive areas.
The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray experienced the community’s ire when his motorcade was blocked briefly by the Maratha Kranti Morcha activists, while he was en route to Jalna.
Raj Thackeray alighted from his vehicle when the Marathas put forth their demands which he assured to take up before his car was permitted to go ahead to Antarvali-Sarati village, where a group led by Manoj Jarange has been on a hunger strike since August 29.
Last evening, preliminary efforts by the Maharashtra government to resolve the crisis apparently failed to fructify after the agitators refused to call off their hunger strike, demanded quotas announcement within 48 hours, and suspension of all the police personnel involved in the caning incident on September 1.
Representing the state government, Minister Girish Mahajan said that the administration is positive on the issue, but sought at least one month’s time to work out a fool-proof policy which could withstand legal scrutiny.
The past two days have seen a galaxy of ruling and Opposition leaders rushing to Jalna to express solidarity with the Marathas and demanding justice for their cause.
They included 3 ex-Chief Ministers – Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, Shiv Sena (UBT) President Uddhav Thackeray and Congress’ Ashok Chavan, descendants of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj – Sambhajiraje Bhosale and Udayanraje Bhosale, and others.