Pune: Member of Parliament and descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Udayanraje Bhosale, said that the government should not make Naxals out of common Maratha protesters by denying them justice and suppressing their anger. He was addressing representatives of the Maratha community on Sunday at a meeting to appeal for peace and discipline.
The Maratha community in the State has been struggling for the last fortnight to demand reservations under the OBC category and stopping the mega recruitment drive taken up by the State government to fill up 72,000 government seats. The protests had begun as an angry reaction but had turned violent eventually, causing property damage and multiple suicides.
“There has been immense damage to life and property in these agitations. I request that the protesters should not take the path of violence and should protest like they had protested in the 58 silent marches last year, in peace and discipline,” said Bhosale.
“On the other hand, the government should not test the patience of the community by further delaying the procedures. Don’t make Naxals out of the common Maratha protesters by denying them justice,” he added.
Bhosale said that the government is just biding time by giving excuses. “The Maratha community has been asking for their share of justice for the last 30 years and they have been peaceful and patient. But government after government, while easily allotting reservations to other communities, has denied the Marathas justice on fragile excuses,” he said.
“It is a myth that all Marathas are prosperous, actually they are not and a majority of the community is living in poverty. Around 82 per cent of the farmers in the State are Marathas and their condition is miserable. If you go to any slum in the city, 40-45 per cent of the slum residents will be Marathas,” Bhosale said.
The Maratha organisations had declared August 9 as a day of aggressive protests for the demand of taking back cases on Maratha protesters around the State. The organisations were also expecting this meeting to result in Bhosale taking up the leadership of the protest. But Bhosale denied such suggestions saying, “There is no need for leadership and further discussions, the government should just give the reservations. Or else, the elected representatives, including me, will have to face mobs of lakhs of common frustrated citizens and we will be unable to stop the protesters.”