Maratha Kranti Morcha stepped up for an agitation on August 1 at Mumbai’s Azad Maidan, though they assured that there won’t be any violence or bandh in the state. The protest will continue till 9th of August at Azad Maidan. They are holding this agitation called “Jail Bharo Andolan” seeking the withdrawal of police cases against those who were a part of “bandh” last week. “We demand an immediate withdrawal of all the criminal cases against our community. While the CM had announced that all criminal cases against the Marathas who participated in the earlier agitation be withdrawn, it has not been implemented on the ground,” said the coordinator of MKM.
Moreover, they demanded reservation for Maratha community in education and job fields, and have asked for an apology from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil for hurting the sentiments of the community. Their demands are yet not over, they also want government to pay a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to each injured during the agitation last week and Rs. 50 lakh to each individual’s family who lost their lives in it.
They blocked Pune-Solapur Highway road protesting for their demands and a tight security arrangements are made in this regard from the state administration. The government invited members from Maratha Kranti Morcha at Azad Maidan for the dialogue, but the members are not interested as they say that the government keeps promising but takes no concrete action on it, neither their words are being followed on ground properly.
The Marathas have been demanding 16% quota in education and government jobs in the state of Maharashtra. Recalling the current reservation status in Maharashtra, OBC has 19% reservation, SC has 13%, ST has 7%, Nomadic tribe (C) has 3.5 % and Nomadic tribe (D) has 2%, which sums up to 52% reservations in jobs and 50% in education. This protest is speculated to have triggered due to suicides by six people till now due to absence of Maratha quota in the Education as well as Government quota.
Bowing down to the demands from the opposition and the Maratha Community, Fadnavis, on July 28, said that a special session of Maharashtra Legislature would be convened soon to resolve the issue of “Maratha Reservation” in the state. Another Maratha Morcha called SMM (Sakal Maratha Morcha), have also lent their support to Maratha Kranti Morcha for the agitation. SMM leader Mr. Praveen Patil said, “The state government, despite it’s assurance of withdrawing criminal charges of vandalism and damaging public property against some protesters, has not taken any action. This is why we are holding Jail bharo andolan,”
The wait is for the decision by the State Government towards this agitation and the demand for the ‘Maratha Quota’. The two right wings of Maratha community for the fight with government on the Maratha reservation are on the front foot for their demands. The coming few days will show if the Fadnavis government accepts the demand of MKM and SMM and declares the reservation for the Maratha community in the state.
(With inputs from ANI)