Pune: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray on Friday cleared his party’s stand on the Maratha agitation for reservation.
He said reservations should be given only on the basis of economic backwardness and not caste.
He appealed to the Maratha community that they need to understand the politics of leaders. They should not become victim of such dirty politics and lose their lives, he said.
Thackeray was addressing his party workers on the occasion of Guru Pournima in the city. During his city visit, he distributed various responsibilities to party leaders. He appointed party office-bearers against the backdrop of forthcoming polls. Ganesh Kala Krida Manch hall, where the programme was held, was jam packed with party workers.
Blaming former prime minister VP Singh for the current reservation scenario and the violent agitation by the Maratha community, he said, “Singh divided people on the basis of castes by granting reservations. After getting reservations to one caste, another comes forward with the demand of reservations. It should be given only on the basis of economic conditions.”
Commenting on the recent death of Kakasaheb Shinde during the Maratha agitation, the MNS chief said, “The governments (past and present) are only interested in playing with the feelings of the people. They want clashes between communities to gain votes. Therefore, we need to understand the politics being played. No one should become victim of such dirty politics and sacrifice their life.”
Thackeray insisted that preference should be given to locals in college admissions and government jobs. “While every other state gives priority to their local people, why is it not happening in Maharashtra? If the government gives 80 to 90 per cent seats in colleges to local students, the need of reservation will never arise.” the MNS chief criticised the Jain community’s demand for the closure of slaughterhouses during Paryushan Parva. He said, “Everyone should follow their religion at their homes and not in public. No religion has right to tell others what they should do. The Jains should not issue ‘fatwas’ for closing down slaughterhouses during Paryushan while the Muslims should neither use loudspeakers for the Azan nor use public roads to offer Namaz.”