Fadnavis announces grants for Marathas as lakhs protest in Mumbai

  • Fadnavis announces grants for Marathas as lakhs protest in Mumbai

Fadnavis announces grants for Marathas as lakhs protest in Mumbai

More than 200,000 protesters poured into India's financial capital of Mumbai on Wednesday to press their demands for reserved quotas in government jobs and college places for students. They launched the movement a year ago to demand the death penalty for those arrested over the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl from the community, expanding demands as the movement grew.

Mumbai: More than five lakh Marathas will be gathering at Mumbai's Azad Maidan for the 58th Maratha Kranti Morcha or "Mukh Morcha" (silent march) to ask for reservations for the community.

The city's famed "dabbawalas", who deliver packed lunches to people working in offices across Mumbai, suspended operations for the day, as did schools in the affected area.

Swapana Shinde, an unemployed nursing graduate, said that in spite of A grades, she is finding it tough to get a government job. Also, they had some tough questions for Congress MLA Nitish Rane, who had climbed the stage of the Maratha protests function. He also added that the Maratha community will be offered those benefits which are now availed by the OBC community.

After meeting representatives of the protestors on Wednesday, Fadnavis announced that the community would get educational concessions which are now given to OBCs.

Fadnavis assured full support to the demand of reservation, a hostel for students from the community in all the districts and scholarships for 605 different courses.

The march was billed as the mother of all rallies as around 8 lakh people took part. I have appealed to the leaders of Maratha community to discuss their issues with the government.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was quick to make a statement in the state assembly, assuring the protestors of looking into their demands but the moot question is - Is quota politics the new ammo? Members gathered outside Jijabai Udyan by 10:30 am, some dressed in traditional outfits including the "pheta" or traditional turban while some wore t-shirts with Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj pictures on it. "Ek Maratha Lakh Maratha" march started off by 11 am after traffic and safety instructions given by Mumbai Police. However, there was no such announcement by the CM.Sanjiv Bhor Patil, another organiser, said, "The CM has now requested the backward commission to submit its report to the HC in three months".

So far, the Marathas have held 57 rallies in the state.

The Bombay High Court had in 2014 disallowed 16 per cent reservation for them in government services and educational institutions.