Mumbai

Cong. demands CM’s resignation for ‘fuelling’ Maratha violence

Tragic loss: Relatives mourn the death of Kakasaheb Shinde at his funeral in Kaygaon village, Aurangabad district on Tuesday. The 27-year-old committed suicide during Maratha protests on Monday; (below) Marathas protest his death in Pune.

Tragic loss: Relatives mourn the death of Kakasaheb Shinde at his funeral in Kaygaon village, Aurangabad district on Tuesday. The 27-year-old committed suicide during Maratha protests on Monday; (below) Marathas protest his death in Pune.  

Opposition alleges Fadnavis’s ‘irresponsible’ remarks angered protesters; Sena supports Maratha stir

Mumbai: Accusing the State government of delaying decisions on the Maratha community’s demands despite protests, the Congress on Tuesday said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was to blame for the violence over the past three days.

Demanding that Mr. Fadnavis take moral responsibility and resign, Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said the government had failed to take cognisance of the Maratha silent marches. The community wants reservation in jobs and education, among other demands.

He added, “Mr. Fadnavis should have chalked out a time-bound programme to deliver on the promise of Maratha reservation when silent morchas were being taken out. Since the BJP government is anti-reservation, it has not given quotas not only to Marathas but also muslims and Dhangars (shepherds).” Mr. Vikhe-Patil said the CM’s statements on Ashadi Ekadashi eve were provocative, and were responsible for the violence that ensued.

‘BJP polarising castes’

State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said Mr Fadnavis’s ‘irresponsible’ false allegations against Maratha leaders was the main reason for the agitation taking a violent turn. He alleged that the BJP took advantage of the caste polarisation brought about by the Maratha silent marches in the local body elections. “Now, there is huge discontent against the government, which is why it is pitting Dalits against Marathas by engineering the violence in Bhima-Koregaon earlier this year (in Pune district).”

While announcing that he will not be travelling to Pandharpur for the annual Ashadi Ekadashi puja, Mr. Fadnavis said on Sunday, “Police have intercepted some messages, like ‘will release snakes among devotees’ and ‘could create a situation that would lead to stampede’, among others.”

Sena extends support

The Shiv Sena, which is part of the BJP-led coalitions in the State and Central governments, supported the Maratha demand for reservation. “Maratha organisations have already condemned the CM’s statement. It would have never gone down well with them. Their demand for reservation is not wrong,” Sena leader and State Industries Minister Subhash Desai said. He added that while the demands are justified, those who had promised a speedy solution haven’t kept their word.

He said, “It’s important to wait for the report by the National Commission for Backward Classes. Nothing will move forward till that comes, and reservation may again be stalled if it is done with lacunae.”

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 9:24:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/cong-demands-cms-resignation-for-fuelling-maratha-violence/article24506802.ece

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