Earlier Wednesday, the Maharashtra government had called an all-party meeting on the issue of Maratha quota where leaders agreed on Maratha reservation within legal framework.
Maratha leader Manoj Jarange-Patil has issued a fresh threat for a relay hunger strike from October 25 if his demands for reservations to the community are not accepted by Tuesday (tomorrow), sparking concerns in the state government.
Interacting with mediapersons here, Jarange-Patil said that his organisation had given 40 days to the government and the deadline has ended, “and we are not moving back even an inch without reservations”.
He warned that if justice is not given to the community, then from Wednesday he would launch a severe hunger strike along with relay-hunger strikes by his supporters in all villages. “I will not take any medical assistance or water… Stop playing with our sentiments and give us the quotas as per our formula. If not, then from October 25, political leaders shall be banned from entering villages,” said Jarange-Patil.
His formula of including Marathas as Kunbi Caste has sparked a new row among other communities and Dalits, who have warned of separate agitations if the government concedes.
He reiterated that the struggle will culminate “either with my funeral procession, or a Maratha victory march”.
In Mumbai, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde called upon the community to exercise restraint and re-assured that all the issues would be sorted in due course Jarange-Patil added that he will make “some new revelations” on Wednesday, and later, Marathas in all villages will take out peaceful candle-light processions for the quotas.
Earlier, on August 29, he had launched an indefinite hunger strike which was called off on September 14, after the CM and other top leaders rushed to his village Antaravali-Sarati.
Then Jarange-Patil went on a tour of several Maratha-dominated districts in the state where he got stupendous public response, and addressed several mammoth public meetings in Jalna, Pune and other places.
In the past few days, at least three distressed Marathas have allegedly committed suicide to press for the reservations, sparking outrage with Jarange-Patil and the CM appealing to the community members not to resort to such extreme measures.