Mumbai, Sep 13 Alarmed by a slew of rallies by Marathas demanding amendments in Atrocities Act and quota, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said his government was taking steps to resolve "various social issues" concerning the politically powerful community.
The rallies have assumed significance in the view of forthcoming elections to civic bodies in state.
"The government has taken a serious note of the morchas being taken out across the state. The morchas are a reflection of the pent up resentment of many years within the Maratha community," Fadnavis said told Maratha leaders.
Marathas, who constitute 32 per cent of population in Maharashtra, are reportedly in sulk.
The rallies have been held since August at Aurangabad, Osmanabad, Jalgaon, Beed and Parbhani, and more are planned in Nanded, Jalna, Solapur, Navi Mumbai, Ahmednagar, Pune, Sangli, Satara and Mumbai from September 18.
Assuring the community that government was positive towards their demands, the CM said more consultations will be held with legislators, senior leaders, senior officers in the administration, various social organisations and student bodies.
"The government is taking steps to resolve various social issues of the community through dialogue without creating any caste tensions," he said.
State BJP president Raosaheb Danve later said the government was in agreement with various demands of the Maratha community.
"There is no cause for anyone to oppose the demands of the community," he said. Sources said that BJP is dealing cautiously given that elections to major municipal corporations are due soon.
The trigger for holding the rallies was the gangrape and murder of a teenage girl in Ahmednagar district, as the accused in the case belonged to different caste. Following the incident, Marathas are raising demand for amendments to the SC and ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, and quota in government jobs and education.