Mumbai: Maharashtra's Leader of Opposition in Council Ambadas Danve on Monday accused the state government of not inviting his Shiv Sena-UBT for the all-party meeting this evening to discuss the vexed issue of Maratha quotas.
Slamming the government of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde for being "mean-minded" and "playing politics", Danve said that he has been invited in his capacity as the Leader of Opposition in the Council, but his party’s name does not figure in the invite list.
"Many big and small parties have been invited for this meeting. But the government has not officially invited the Shiv Sena-UBT. I have been invited as the Leader of Opposition," said a peeved Danve.
He also pointed out that Bharatiya Janata Party leader Chandrakant Patil, who is heading a panel for Maratha reservations, has been invited as a Minister for the meeting and wondered "what is the government trying to achieve by this".
However, Danve said several other ministers have also been called for the meeting and asked how they are concerned in the matter.
Danve said that when the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi CM Uddhav Thackeray had convened a similar meeting, he had also invited some five dozen organisations, but today not a single organisation figures in the list of invitees.
He also questioned whether the government had appointed an official representative to meet or hold talks with the Shivba Sanghatana leader Manoj Jarange-Patil who is on an indefinite hunger strike for the past 14 days for Maratha quotas.
On September 2, NCP President Sharad Pawar and ex-CM Thackeray were among the first to reach Jalna’s Antarvali-Sarati village which witnessed a major police clampdown on Maratha protestors a day earlier, and later protests spread across the state.
Meanwhile, as many as 32 representatives of the ruling coalition of Shiv Sena-BJP-Nationalist Congress Party-AP, Congress’ Leader of Opposition in Assembly Vijay Wadettiwar, the Congress, NCP-Sharad Pawar, other big and small parties and officials have been invited to join the ‘all-party’ meet to be addressed by the CM later this evening.