‘Protests to continue peacefully’

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 8 August 2018

We are not ready to wait till November for reservation and we will continue with the protest: Leaders

Pune: Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM) leaders said that they are not ready to wait for November to get reservations and will continue ‘peaceful’ agitation through various methods until the demands are fulfilled. The organisers were speaking at a press conference held in the city on Tuesday, before the community does a show of strength protest on August 9.

The Maratha community was assured by the chief minister on Sunday that the process of reservations will be completed by November this year. He had also declared that the mega recruitment drive, which was the point of contention for the recent agitation, has been put on hold until the reservation process is complete. The Marathas, however, are not satisfied with the declaration.

“The Marathas have waited for years for their rights. Our children were told that they will get a 50 per cent concession in fees, but when they went to colleges with dreams, they were turned away as the government had only made the declaration, but no GR or document instructing about the fee waiver had reached the colleges,” said an MKM leader Tushar Kakade,  adding, “This is not Fadnavis government but ‘Fasavnis’ (swindling) government.”
Kakade said that the protests will go on without waiting for November. “Hundreds of youths have been detained and are facing charges like attempt to murder and their future is in question. We do not trust the government and don’t want to wait up to November so we will continue using various forums to continue pressurising the administration,” Kakade said. 

The organisers say that the declared agitation on August 9 will stay. “We are going to surround the tehsil and the collector offices in all districts and submit our demands. We are appealing everyone to use only peaceful methods for agitations and have decided the place so that the protests don’t get scattered,” Kakade informed. He further said, “We have not made any appeals to observe a bandh and these are just rumours. If anyone wants to observe it voluntarily we don’t mind.”


Lingayats join reservation train
The Lingayat community, which has a population of almost 1 crore, is traditionally a trading and agrarian community. The ‘Wani’ sub-caste of the community along with 13 other sub-castes were given reservations under the OBC category by the UPA government. The Lingayats want the government to expand the reservations to all members of the Lingayat community now. “It is just a technical demand and we don’t want additional share, we just want the word Lingayat to be included in the OBC list,” said Sudarshan Biradar of the Lingayat Mahasangh. “If denied the demand, we will also resort to protests like the Maratha community,” he said.   

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