Mah leaders to meet PM over 'defamation' of state: Deshmukh

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Nashik, Nov 6 (UNI) Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh today said a delegation of all political parties from the state will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over ''defamation'' of the state by some leaders from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

''I will meet the opposition leaders and discuss the matter with them. After that, the delegation of will meet Dr Singh,'' Mr Deshmukh in said a replying to a question, in a press meet here.

The delegation will apprise the Prime Minister about the present situation, he said.

About the government being targetted by the Hindutva parties over the Malegaon blasts investigation issue, Mr Deshmukh said ''these parties are blaming the government intentionally.'' Asked about the support extended by these parties to the September 29 Malegaon bomb blasts accused, the Chief Minister said it was their own policy decision.

''We believe that a criminal does not have a religion or caste.

The ATS is not taking action against the accused without any evidence,'' he maintained.

He said no examinations would be held outside the state, while referring to the reported statement by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad that the examination would be held outside the state consequent to the attack by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers on candidates appearing for the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) exam on October 19.

Asked about the Marathi and non-Marathi issue, he said ''We should provide an option to industries whether to appoint labourers from outside the state. Local labourers are unwilling to do certain works done by these people. Such a dispute is not good for national integrity.'' Talking about the reported statement by his deputy R R Patil that ''a bullet will be answered by a bullet'', the Chief Minister replied that it was stated in a different context regarding the naxal attack in Gadchiroli.

On the Maratha reservation issue, Mr Deshmukh said a decision would be taken after a committee submits its report. The pro-reservation organisations like Shiv Sangram have demanded 25 per cent reservation for the Maratha in OBC category.

''The inclusion of a caste in the reservation categary is not under the state's jurisdiction. However, the OBC reservation quota will not be affected due to it,'' he added.

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