Maratha reservation: Protests over quota intensify; CM calls all-party meet; internet suspended and more. 10 Points
Shiv Sena UBT President Uddhav Thackeray has not received an invitation to attend an all-party meeting to discuss the intensified Maratha quota.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has called an all-party meeting today to discuss the situation in the state amid the intensified Maratha quota agitation which took a violent turn in some parts of the state. Since the last few days, incidents of violence were witnessed in many parts of the state. The State-run bus services have been completely suspended in five Marathwada districts while curfew and Internet shut-down have been imposed in parts of Beed where the houses of political leaders were targeted by protesters. For today's meeting Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray has not been invited. Sanjay Raut has also confirmed that none of his party MPs and MLAs have not been invited except for Ambadas Danve who is the leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council.
2. Maratha quota agitators vandalised NCP leader Hasan Mushrif's SUV parked in south Mumbai on Wednesday morning. Police said two men raised slogans of ‘Ek Maratha, lakh Maratha’ for Maratha reservation.
3. The workers' union at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj market yard has called for the shutdown of the market for one day. All businesses and trade under APMC have been shut down today to support the Maratha reservation demand by Manoj Jarange Patil. Speaking to news agency ANI, Workers Union president Santosh Nagare said, "...Maratha people should get the reservation. Manoj Jarange Patil has been sitting on a fast for the past 8 days. To support him, we called a meeting, and we decided to keep this market shut for one day... Daily, 20,000 to 25,000 people come here... The daily business for this market is from ₹15 crore to 20 crore..."
4 For the all-party meeting held today, Shiv Sena UBT President Uddhav Thackeray has not received an invitation to attend an all-party meeting to discuss the intensified Maratha quota. According to Chief Minister's office official, CM Shinde will inform the opposition leaders of the government's plans to address the crisis and seek their support.
5. Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut also slammed the Maharashtra government and said that while the state is burning, the Shinde dispensation is resorting to "shameless politics." He added his party MPs and MLAs have not been invited to the all party meeting today. Only Ambadas Danve, Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council, called to the meeting called by the state government.
6. Activist Manoj Jarange, who was is observing an indefinite fast for the quota demand at Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district. Earlier on Tuesday, he said that the Maratha community will not accept an "incomplete reservation" and the Maharashtra government should call a special session of the state legislature on the issue. He also threatened to stop drinking water from Wednesday evening if the "complete" quota was not granted to the Maratha community. As per a statement issued by the Chief Minister's Office official earlier, Jarange, who started his second hunger strike on October 25, began to drink water after a "satisfactory" discussion with Shinde on Wednesday morning.
7. Jarange also expressed displeasure over the state Cabinet's decision to grant Kunbi caste certificates to the Marathas in the Marathwada region. He said, "Don't be selective in granting reservation. Give Kunbi caste certificates to all Marathas. Officials should not distribute these (Kunbi) certificates (as declared by the government). The government should accept the first report of the Justice Shinde committee and convene a special session of the legislature to decide on the Maratha quota," as quoted by PTI.
8. Chief Minister Shinde said a three-member committee of experts will be set up to advise the state government on submission of a proposed curative petition in the Supreme Court in connection with the Maratha quota issue. "The Supreme Court has agreed to hear our curative petition on the issue of Maratha reservation...It is my sincere appeal to the people to not take any extreme steps, we are committed to giving reservation to Maratha community," Shinde said. In May 2021, the Supreme Court struck down Maharashtra's Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018, which granted reservation to the Maratha community, for violating the 50 per cent ceiling.
9. Maharashtra's Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Sanjay Saxena visited Beed district to take stock of the situation after large scale violence. An official told news agency PTI that so far, 99 people have been arrested in connection with the violence in Beed and the situation is currently under control. Curfew was imposed and Internet services were suspended in Beed district after the violence on Monday. As per TOI report, Internet has been suspended in Beed and Jalna till 2 November.
10. In response to the unrest surrounding the demand for a quota for the Maratha population, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has totally suspended bus services in five districts of Marathwada in central Maharashtra. According to a representative of the state-owned corporation, bus services have been somewhat disrupted in Beed, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, and Solapur districts, but have been fully suspended in Parbhani, Dharashiv, Latur, Jalna, and Nanded districts for the past three to four days.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)
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