Maharashtra CM to meet Maratha committee soon, address their demands | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Maharashtra CM to meet Maratha committee soon, address their demands

The move comes after the Sakal Maratha Samaj formed a high-power committee to prepare a comprehensive draft the Marathas’ demands and present it to the state

mumbai Updated: Apr 21, 2017 11:29 IST
Surendra P Gangan
The Maratha community has held more than 40 massive protest rallies across the state between August and December last year.
The Maratha community has held more than 40 massive protest rallies across the state between August and December last year. (HT File Photo)

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will meet representatives of the Sakal Maratha Samaj, the parent body of Maratha organisations,soon to discuss the community’s demands. The samaj was one of the organisers of the nationwide Maratha protests held to demand reservation in government jobs and education.

Revenue minister Chandrakant Patil welcomed the samaj’s decision to meet state government officials and said Fadnavis would meet with a committee of samaj members soon.

The Maratha community has held more than 40 massive protest rallies across the state between August and December last year. Their demands include a review of the Atrocities Act, the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations on farming and other reforms in social and economic sectors.

So far, the organisers of these rallies had refused to hold talks with the government. However, at a round-table conference of prominent Maratha leaders on Wednesday, the samaj formed a high-power committee to prepare a comprehensive draft the Marathas’ demands and present it to the state. The committee does not comprise any politicians. At the meeting, called by Kshatriya Maratha Chamber of Commerce and attended by Chhatrapati Sambhajiraje — a Rajya Sabha member and a descendent of Chhatrapati Shivaji — the samaj decided to appoint a district-level coordinator to ensure better communication at the local level.

“The government will respond to the community’s demands positively. Earlier, the protest had no particular leaders and wasn’t represented by a specific face. So, the government was confused over who to address. As a committee has been set up, it will now be easy for us to break the ice. The government has taken several decisions in the interest of the Maratha community already,” said Patil.

Following the massive silent marches across the state, the state took various steps to pacify the Maratha community. Besides submitting an affidavit comprising proof the Marathas’ backwardness, the government announced freeships for Maratha students. It reconstituted the Maharashtra State Commission for Backward Classes, giving the community significant representation. The government also performed the bhoomipujan of the Shivaji memorial in the Arabian sea two weeks ago. It has constituted a training and research institute named after Maratha king Shahu Maharaj.