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Make Pankaja Munde CM for an hour to end Maratha stir: Shiv Sena


Mumbai, July 28: Taking a dig at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the Shiv Sena today said that his cabinet colleague Pankaja Munde should be made the chief minister for at least an hour to clear the Maratha reservation file.

Pankaja Munde

Munde, who is the rural development minister, in a veiled swipe at Fadnavis over the Maratha reservation issue, had recently said that she would not have delayed the decision if she was in-charge.

"Had the file of Maratha reservation been on my table, I would not have delayed it even for a moment. This issue is being delayed as it is pending in the high court," Munde had said while speaking to Maratha protesters at Parli in Beed district.

In an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Shiv Sena said Ms Munde's statement, in other words, means the government was only dilly-dallying on the issue.

"If Pankaja Munde can clear the file without any problems, she should be made the chief minister with the consent of everybody for at least for an hour, so that a decision is taken on the Maratha reservation file," it said.

"Pankaja Munde's stand needs to be understood. There is no reason to believe that she intends to play politics over the issue. If she can request the prime minister to intervene, why can't Fadnavis go to Delhi and do that as well?" it asked.

The party taunted PM Narendra Modi saying he is usually not in Delhi and has no interest left in the country's affairs.

Even if the chief minister goes to Delhi to seek the Centre's help in resolving the Maratha issue, it is difficult to find the PM as he is mostly abroad, it said.

The Sena said that crushing the protests is the policy of the government.

"The Patel quota agitation in Gujarat was crushed. Hardik Patel was its face and hence it was easy for the government to stamp out the protest. Serious charges like sedition were slapped against Hardik and he was sent to jail," it said.

"The government might have used the same method to crush the Maratha agitation in Maharashtra. However, it faces a difficult situation here as the entire Maratha community is leading the protest," the Uddhav Thackeray-led party said.

The Sena, said Mr Fadnavis alone could not be blamed for the deteriorating law and order situation on the issue as tall promises made before the polls later create problems.

"Promises (of reservation) made to the Dhangar and Maratha communities should be fulfilled now or else the file should be sent to Pankaja Munde for clearance so that the issue gets resolved," it said.

Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil says Mr Fadnavis keeps working till 3 am, the Sena said in the editorial.

"This must be true. The CM must have been spending sleepless nights due to the Maratha agitation and if he shuts his eyes, Pankaja might clear the file. Therefore, the CM should now find that file and fulfil the demand of the Maratha community," the Sena said.

Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 per cent of the state's population, have been demanding 16 per cent reservation.

The community had earlier taken out silent marches across the state to highlight their demands, prominent among them being that of reservation.

The stir, however, turned violent earlier this week with the protesters pelting stones, torching vehicles, blocking roads and stopping train services in several parts of the state. The violence began after a 27-year-old protester from Aurangabad jumped to his death in Godavari river on July 23.

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