Maratha Reservation Row: Ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the controversial Maratha reservation issue has once again come to the center stage. Demand for Maratha reservation is rising in different parts of the state. Manoj Jarange-Patil, who led this movement, recently announced that he would go on a hunger strike. At the same time, OBC groups and Kunbis – a community of the Maratha community – have opposed the move. Caught between supporters and opponents, the BJP-Shiv Sena led state government has called an all-party meeting today.
Maharashtra CM called all-party meeting
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has called an all-party meeting on Monday i.e. today in an effort to resolve the issues of Maratha reservation and break the current deadlock on the matter. According to media reports, this meeting will be held in ‘Sahyadri Guest House’. Top leaders of many parties are expected to participate in it.
Maratha organization calls for bandh in Thane
A Maratha organization has called a ‘bandh’ in Thane city of Maharashtra on Monday i.e. today to condemn the police lathicharge against protesters in Jalna last week. Local leaders of opposition parties in the state have announced their support to the ‘bandh’ called by the Sambhaji Brigade-backed Sakal Maratha Morcha. Nationalist Congress Party (Sharad Pawar), Shiv Sena (UBT), Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the city unit of Congress have expressed support towards the bandh. Police forces have been deployed across the city today in response to the bandh called by the Maratha community. Police officers have been assessing the situation since morning regarding police deployment.
Stir over Maratha reservation intensifies
The Maratha community has an influential presence in the politics of Maharashtra, constituting almost one-third of the state’s population. The community is demanding reservation in government jobs and educational institutions. The demand for reservation has remained an integral part of the state’s politics since 1981 and several large-scale protests have taken place. The first such protest was organized by Mathadi Labor Union leader Annasaheb Patil in Mumbai about 32 years ago.