The MahaYuti government received a sigh of relief after pro-Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange-Patil responded to a joint call by the state government and opposition by withdrawing his fast. However, he gave two months up to January 2 for the state government to act and provide reservation to the Maratha community. If the government fails to do so or indulge in foul play he threatened to close Mumbai the financial capital of the country. Jarange-Patil, who had hardened his stand on providing Kunbi certificate to the entire Maratha community and not restricted to Marathas from Marathwada, ultimately relented after two retired judges Maruti Gaikwad and Sunil Shukre briefed him on legal processes involved in providing the quota. This is the second time after September he called off his fast. Jarange Patil argued that the government should give ‘blanket reservation’ for all the Maratha community.
Chief Minister Eknath Shinde thanked Jarange Patil for withdrawal of his fast and reiterated that the government is committed to provide the reservation to Maratha community that will be permanent and pass the legal scrutiny. He called upon the pro Maratha reservation activists to call off their agitation across Maharashtra in the wake of Diwali and various examinations. ‘’Myself and deputy chief ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar had decided to resolve the Maratha reservation issue through discussions and dialogues,’’he noted.
Shinde said that the government has accepted the first report submitted by Justice Sandeep Shinde committee and based on the 13,514 records it has already launched the process to provide Kunbi certificate to the Maratha community, adding that the exercise will continue in future too. Further, he stated that the government is also working to pursue its curative petition in the Supreme Court and hoped that it will come up for hearing in due course of time. He added that a three member advisory board comprising three retired judges has been formed to assist the government and the State Backward Commission in the legal process. The Commission based on the empirical data will give its report on how the Maratha community is backward and how it is entitled for the reservation.
Meanwhile, Jarange-Patil after his meeting with the government delegation comprising ministers Uday Samant, Sandipan Bhamre, Dhananjay Munde and Atul Sawe had insisted that the government should provide reservation by December 24 but later agreed to give time till January 2. ‘’This is the last time, I am giving you more time. If the government fails to provide a quota then I will stop Mumbai,’’he warned.
Jarange-Patil said though he has declared to call off his fast unto death, chain hunger strikes in villages should continue. “All other agitations should be suspended, but chain hunger strikes in every village of Maharashtra should continue,”he added.
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