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Maha govt forms panel for Maratha quotas, urges Jarange-Patil to end hunger strike


Mumbai, Sep 11 (IANS) An all-party meeting, presided over by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, on Monday decided to appoint a committee to decide on the Maratha reservations in education and jobs sector within a month, belying expectations that a final decision would be taken on the issue to end the stalemate.

The all-party meet also unanimously passed a resolution urging the Shivba Sanghatana leader Manoj Jarange-Patil to give time to the committee to submit its report in one month and call off his hunger strike immediately, the CM told media persons after the discussions.

“We all the leaders are extremely concerned about Jarange-Patil’s health… We are fully committed to give the Maratha quotas and the committee will decide. It can also have representatives of the Maratha community including Jarange-Patil,” he said.

In Jalna, in a brief initial reaction, an adamant Jarange-Patil told media persons that he would take a decision on ending his 14-day-long hunger-strike after discussing with his team members on Tuesday.

Besides, the government has decided to withdraw all the police cases filed against the protesting Marathas who were subjected to a crackdown in Jalna on September 1, sparking off a huge political furore.

“We have directed the police to forthwith withdraw all the cases filed against the protestors. We have also decided to suspend three senior officers who were responsible for the police baton charge that day in Antaravli-Sarati village,” said Shinde, referring to the demands of Jarange-Patil.

He mentioned that earlier Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis, who holds the home portfolio has already tendered an apology for the police action, and now all the other demands of the community have been accepted, and now the Jarange-Patil should break his fast in the interest of law and order.

The CM added that representatives of all the parties were unanimous over giving the reservations to the Maratha community but without affecting the existing quotas of any other community or groups or meting injustice to any section.

“We are committed to the reservations and the panel will now decide how it is to be done as there are several legal issues involved. I personally appeal to Jarange-Patil and on behalf of all the state leaders to call off his hunger strike right away,” said Shinde.

The all-party meeting was attended by Shinde, Fadnavis, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, Ministers, government officials, Leaders of Opposition Vijay Wadettiwar (Assembly) and Ambadas Danve (Council), senior leaders of Congress, both factions of Nationalist Congress Party, the ruling alliance of Shiv Sena-BJP, all other big and small parties, the descendants of the Chhatrapati clan and others, though the Shiv Sena-UBT led by ex-CM Uddhav Thackeray was not invited.

Jarange-Patil welcomed the move to withdraw cases against the Maratha protestors and the action on the police personnel but ruled out the possibility of joining the newly-formed government panel.


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