Jalna (Maharashtra), Nov 15 (IANS) After a lull of two weeks, Shivba Sanghatana leader Manoj Jarange-Patil on Wednesday launched another nine-day tour of several districts of the state starting with a public meeting at Wangi village in Solapur to press for the Maratha reservation issue.
Accompanied by a huge motorcade, Jarange-Patil and his supporters started from Antaravali-Sarati in Jalna to Solapur and with folded hands, vowed to continue the peaceful agitation till the government concedes the long-pending demands for Maratha quotas.
“We have given the Maharashtra government a deadline of December 24. We will keep quiet till then, but continue our peaceful agitation through democratic means. We are hopeful the quotas are announced within the time-limit,” said Jarange-Patil, interacting with media-persons.
To a query, Jarange-Patil said that initially the government claimed they were not able to locate the ‘Kunbi Caste’ certificates issued to the Marathas during the Nizam-era.
“Then, how are they discovering lakhs of such documents from all over the state… The government should now take action accordingly,” Jarange-Patil demanded.
He reiterated that the Maratha community will not back off on the quotas issue and it is up to the government to take steps in the matter within the stipulated deadline.
Jarange-Patil’s tough talk came even as independent OBC leaders and those from various political parties have attacked the state government’s plans to carve out the Maratha quotas from the OBC ‘Kunbi Caste’ community.
During the tour till November 23, Jarange-Patil is likely to cover districts like Solapur, Osmanabad, Beed, Latur, Nanded, Parbhani, Hingoli, Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar and Dharashiv.
At most places, his supporters have planned out a hero’s welcome with flower-showers from hundreds of JCBs as has become a norm in recent months, taking out processions and addressing mammoth rallies at various venues.