Maharashtra to convene all-party meet on Maratha quota, says Ajit Pawar; PM should take the lead, Congress insists | Pune News
The Maharashtra government will convene an all-party meeting on Monday on the issue of Maratha reservation, said Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar who organised a show of strength in Pune city Sunday. The state unit of the Congress, however, said that if the BJP is serious about resolving the reservation issue, the all-party meeting must be convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Ajit Pawar’s remarks came after Maratha activist Manoj Jarange Patil rejected the government resolution on the reservation issue on Saturday, demanding that all Marathas be given Kunbi certificates, police personnel responsible for the lathi-charge against protesters be dismissed from service, and that cases filed against protesters be withdrawn.
“We have taken all efforts to end the activist’s hunger strike. Government representatives including minister Girish Mahajan met him, but he refused to end the fast. All our efforts have so far failed… On Monday, the government is planning to convene an all-party meeting on the reservation issue,” Pawar said in Pune on Sunday.
Reacting to his statement, Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said, ”We welcome the move to hold the all-party meeting, but such a meeting should be convened by Prime Minister Narendra Modi if his government seriously intends to resolve the issue. After the all-party meeting, a Bill should be brought in to do away with the 50 per cent reservation limit so that the Maratha community can get the quota during the special Parliament session… There is a need to increase the reservation limit.
Alleging that the saffron party was playing a political game, Londhe said, “The BJP does not want to increase the quota limit. It wants to pit Marathas against the OBCs. It is a BJP ploy to gain from the bitterness among the two communities. Also, the government has not clarified anything about the Rohini Commission.”
On whether the Congress will attend the all-party meeting, Londhe said, “We will discuss the issue before taking a decision.”
Ajit Pawar downplays ‘future CM’ banners
Meanwhile, Ajit Pawar – who received a rousing welcome in Pune city as his cavalcade passed through key roads – downplayed banners put up by party workers hailing him as the “future chief minister.”
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Pawar said, ”This is a new craze in Maharashtra. Political workers are regularly putting up such boards of their leaders. Even my boards have been put up. In some places, banners of Dhananjay Munde and his sister Pankaja Munde have been put up. This is done by enthusiastic workers. But I keep telling workers that no one becomes chief minister by putting up banners. For this to happen, one has to cross the magic figure of 145 MLAs in the state Assembly.”
Ajit Pawar, who recently joined the NDA government in the state along with a few NCP MLAs, started his day by praying at Dagadusheth Ganpati Halwai Temple on Shivaji Road. He was accompanied by state Agriculture Minister Dhananjay Munde, state Women’s Commission chief Rupali Chakankar, NCP (Ajit Pawar faction) city president Deepak Mankar as well as senior leaders Pradeep Deshmukh and Balasaheb Bodake.
The roadshow began at Dagadusheth temple and proceeded towards Fadgate, Satara Road, Dhankavadi and Katraj before concluding near Khed Shivapur toll plaza. The NCP leader then proceeded to Satara to attend political events. He is also set to visit Karad, Sangli and Kolhapur later in the day.
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