An all-party meeting led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was held on Monday at the Sahyadri State Guest House in Mumbai to discuss the demand for Maratha reservation. CM Shinde said that the cases against protestors involved in Jalna violence will be withdrawn and the state is considering the same for Maratha agitators throughout the state. The meeting comes as the Maharashtra state government continues to navigate the complexities surrounding the Maratha community’s demand for reservation while emphasising the need for a legally sound and equitable solution.
During a press conference, Chief Minister Shinde declared an all-party consensus on granting reservations to the Maratha community in a manner that the Other Backward Class (O.B.C.) quota does not get affected.
“A consensus has been reached to provide reservations to the Maratha community, ensuring that the reservations for other communities remain unaffected. The Maratha community will not be deceived, and the government stands in support of their aspirations,” CM Shinde said.
“In light of the ongoing Maratha community reservation movement and the associated legal implications, immediate action has been initiated to withdraw any pending criminal cases against protesters,” the Chief Minister announced.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that the leaders of all parties discussed and unanimously passed the resolution requesting activist Manoj Jarange Patil to call off his hunger strike.
“An important resolution has been passed regarding the health condition of Manoj Jarange Patil. The resolution requesting Manoj Jarange Patil to call off his fast was passed unanimously until the government acts on the demand and some time should be given for the same,” he told reporters, as per Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that action will be taken against the officials concerned for the lathi-charge on protestors in Jalna.
Manoj Jarange Patil or his representatives will be appointed to a Committee set up by CM Shinde on the Maratha quota demand, the CMO stated.
Expressing gratitude to all participants in the all-party meeting, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde stated that the government is making strenuous efforts to ensure that reservation for the Maratha community is provided with a solid foundation and without any legal hiccups.
He further expressed his concern over the possibility of protests in Marathwada and across the state in the coming days.
“This endeavor does not compromise justice in any way, and, therefore, I implore other communities to not resort to protests during this time,” he said.
On the Maratha leader’s hunger strike, CM Shinde emphasised on forging unity across party lines: “Manoj Jaranje Patil’s ongoing fast and concerns about his health were pressing factors that hastened the all-party meeting. Maharashtra, being a progressive state, often faces such complex issues, and it is during times like these that politicians, opposition parties, and leaders convene for discussions. The aim is to make informed decisions in the best interests of the state. The meeting witnessed a unanimous understanding among attendees and signified cooperation among state authorities, opposition leaders, and representatives”.
Speaking about the meeting, Maharashtra Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat told the media, “We believe that there shouldn’t be politics on the Maratha reservation issue. We will first listen to the CM and extend support to the positive initiatives that will be taken by the government.”
VIDEO | “The (Congress) party believes that there shouldn’t be politics on (Maratha reservation issue). We will first listen to the CM and extend support to the positive initiatives that will be taken by the government,” says Congress leader @bb_thorat on all-party meeting… pic.twitter.com/hMimEZqdho
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) September 11, 2023
Maratha Quota Activist Stops Taking Liquids As Hunger Strike Enters 14th Day
Manoj Jarange, the Maratha quota activist engaged in an indefinite hunger strike, has stopped taking intravenous (IV) fluids and liquids, raising concerns about his health as he continues to intensify his protest, news agency PTI reported. On Monday, a civil surgeon issued a statement, cautioning that the activist may face health complications due to dehydration.
The civil surgeon, Pratap Ghodke, who is currently acting as the district’s civil surgeon in Jalna, expressed apprehensions regarding Jarange’s health. Ghodke revealed that Jarange’s serum creatinine and bilirubin levels have surged, indicating potential issues with kidney function and the possibility of a liver ailment.
Jarange, approximately 40 years old, initiated his hunger strike on August 29th at Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district, situated in central Maharashtra. His protest revolves around the demand for government jobs and educational reservations under the OBC (Other Backward Classes) category for the Maratha community.
In a concerning turn of events, Jarange halted his intake of IV fluids and liquids as of Sunday evening, according to statements provided by Ghodke to PTI.
Amid growing concerns for his deteriorating health, the family doctor of Manoj Jarange has been enlisted in an effort to persuade him to seek medical treatment and adhere to prescribed medications, as confirmed by the district’s acting civil surgeon, PTI reported.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde ahead of the meeting underlined the state’s commitment to resolving the Maratha reservation issue while ensuring its legality and fairness.
“The state government wants to give the Maratha community a reservation that will be foolproof and pass legal scrutiny. We are not making any hasty decisions. The state does not want to shortchange anyone,” Chief Minister Shinde told reporters in Mumbai, as quoted by news agency PTI.
Furthermore, the government aims to establish that the Maratha community faces social and educational backwardness while safeguarding the quotas for other communities.
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