Shinde govt. working towards reservation to Marathas, says Fadnavis

A delegation of the Maratha community met Fadnavis in Pandharpur town of Solapur district where the deputy CM and his wife performed puja at the temple of Lord Vitthal and Goddess Rukmini

November 23, 2023 09:08 pm | Updated 09:19 pm IST - Pune

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis along with his wife Amruta Fadnavis performs Aarti at Shri Vitthal Rukimini Temple on Kartiki Ekadashi, at Pandharpur in Solapur on Thursday.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis along with his wife Amruta Fadnavis performs Aarti at Shri Vitthal Rukimini Temple on Kartiki Ekadashi, at Pandharpur in Solapur on Thursday. | Photo Credit: ANI

Assuring that the Eknath Shinde-led government was committed towards giving a foolproof quota to the Maratha community, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday said the government was positive towards meeting the demands raised by the community.

A delegation of the Maratha community met Mr. Fadnavis in the temple town of Pandharpur (in Solapur district) where Mr. Fadnavis and his wife Amruta offered worship at the Vitthal-Rukmini temple on the occasion of Kartiki Ekadashi.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Mr. Fadnavis said, “I have assured the Maratha community that the State government has a positive outlook towards their demands. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has assured of reservation for the community. We are standing behind him with full support. The issue will be solved for sure. Efforts are under way to give reservation to the Maratha community.”

The delegation also demanded that the government provide some land for the construction of a Maratha Bhavan in Pandharpur and a hostel for students in the temple town to which Mr. Fadnavis said the State government was positive towards all these demands.

“The Solapur district Collector can show the available land parcels in the next 15 days to the delegation to construct Maratha Bhavan and a hostel. The government will allot the site which the delegation favours. We will also start the construction before the next monsoon,” he said.

With the Maratha quota agitation raging across the state, there was much controversy to Mr. Fadnavis performing the annual puja at Pandharpur with the Sakal Maratha Samaj objecting to the Deputy CM doing so. The pro-Maratha outfit later relented and permitted Mr. Fadnavis to perform the puja.

Last month, Mr. Fadnavis, who also holds the Home portfolio, had spoken of a stern probe against quota agitators while stating that cases under Section 307 of the IPC (attempt to murder) would be lodged against those who had indulged in violence and arson during the quota stir.

Mr. Fadnavis’ statement, which came after alleged Maratha quota agitators torched the homes of two NCP legislators and gutted several establishments belonging to the OBC community in Beed, drew flak from Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange Patil, who accused the Deputy CM of trying to ‘break’ the Maratha quota stir. 

Meanwhile, after offering prayers in Pandharpur, Mr. Fadnavis said there was an urgent need for all communities to respect each other.

Given the growing rift between the Maratha and the OBC communities over the reservation issue, Mr. Fadnavis said there was a need for all to act like Warkaris (devotees making the pilgrimage to Pandharpur).

“We must all try to be like Warkaris. Each community has its own issues. We must ensure no offensive language is used against each other,” he said.

Reacting to Mr. Fadnavis, Mr. Jarange Patil said, “Fadnavis must first tell his people to shun offensive language. If they behave appropriately, we shall stop our people as well.”

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