Mete threatens to launch state-wide agitation

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Thane, Aug 23 (UNI) Shiv Sangram Sanghtan founder Vinayak Mete today threatened that his organisation would launch a state-wide agitation in support of their demand for giving reservation to the members of Maratha community, if the Maharashtra government does not consider his demand seriously.

Addressing a news conference here, the first after the attack on the Editor of Loksatta Kumar Ketkar over an editorial on the proposed statue of Maratha warrior king Shivaji Maharaj off the Mumbai coast, Mr Mete said the Kunbi and Maratha communities, who form 40 to 45 per cent of the total population in the state, face untold hardships for their livelihood and lead a precarious life.

They survive on only one meal. Of the total farmers who had committed suicide, 75 per cent of them were from the Maratha community. It is the need of the hour that they be bailed out of the serious problems, and the only way out is reservation for the Maratha community, he said.

Various organisations have been working towards the same but in isolation. Hence, at a meeting held at Pune recently of all such organisations, a decision was taken to set up a Maratha Coordination Committee to take up the pending issues of the members of Maratha community, he said.

A delegation, led by him, would meet the Chief Minister in the next week, either on Thursday or Friday, to press for their demand of reservation for the members of the Maratha community and if they do not get any favourable reply, then they would launch serious agitation across the state, Mr Mete said.

He said the incident of attack on the house of Mr Ketkar was blown out of proportion by the media.

He alleged that Mr Ketkar defamed the state government and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj through his writing. The incident itself was a fallout of the provocative writing by Mr Ketkar, he said.

He regretted that neither the law nor the party examined the facts before taking action.

When asked that now he has been expelled from the NCP would he join any other party, Mr Mete said during the meeting with NCP chief Sharad Pawar some of the issues were left open. He would meet Mr Pawar in the next 15 days. His next move will depend on the decision of Mr Pawar and the party, he added.

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