The Maratha Kranti Morcha, which is spearheading the agitation for the implementation of the Maratha quota law in Maharashtra, has castigated Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar for ostensibly sidelining the thorny reservation issue.
The outfit said that Mr. Pawar, despite being known as a ‘Maratha strongman’, chose to ignore the demands of his fellow community members at home but focused on supporting the farmers’ agitation in distant Delhi instead.
Rajendra Kondhare, convenor, Maratha Kranti Morcha, said no attention was being paid to aspiring Maharashtra Public Service Commission students from the Maratha community, who were protesting the inordinate delay in implementing the quota, at Mumbai’s Azaad Maidan.
“Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s Maha Vikas Aghadi [MVA] government has supported the ongoing farmers’ agitation. However, Mr. Pawar, whose NCP is part of the tripartite MVA, has not even bothered to pay attention to the plight of the protesting Maratha students at Azaad Maidan. Neither has Congress leader and minister Balasaheb Thorat expressed sympathy or support for them,” Mr. Kondhare said.
He said that a State-wide protest would be held on February 4, ahead of the hearing on the reservation issue in the Supreme Court on February 5.
“If the apex court’s verdict [removing the stay on the implementation of the Maratha quota law in the State] is in our favour, then it will be well and good, else we will be planning the future course of our protests against the State government,” Mr. Kondhare said.
In November last year, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Udayanraje Bhosale, considered an influential Maratha community leader, had taken aim at the MVA government, accusing it of indulging in ‘delaying tactics’ which ensured that the Maratha reservation law was not being implemented in Maharashtra.
Mr. Bhosale, a former NCP leader and a direct descendant of the Maratha warrior King Chhatrapati Shivaji, had further targeted Mr. Pawar for failing to get the Maratha quota implemented in Maharashtra despite being hailed as a ‘stalwart Maratha leader’ whose party was part of the MVA government.