Govt to set up group of ministers for dialogue with Marathas
The government has appointed a battery of lawyers and gathered historical evidence to strengthen the legal case for quota for Marathasmaratha silent protests Updated: Sep 27, 2016 14:17 IST
A rattled state government on Monday once again signalled its willingness for a dialogue by setting up an empowered group of ministers and opposition leaders to hold talks with Maratha community leaders.
The move came even as the BJP issued a clarification in the face of speculation that Devendra Fadnavis may be replaced as CM in the face of the silent protests.
The clarification came from one of the possible candidates to replace him, Public Works Minister Chandrakant Patil, a Maratha leader considered close to party president Amit Shah.
A day after Fadnavis reiterated that the government was committed to granting reservation to Marathas, Patil said the government was open to dialogue on the subject. The government has appointed a battery of lawyers and gathered historical evidence to strengthen the legal case for quota for Marathas, he said.
“We have always been willing to speak to the organisers of the Maratha marches, but we have not been getting a response from them. We have been telling them to form a group for the talks on their demands,” Patil said.
“The government has now decided to approach opposition leaders to form an empowered group along with ministers to hold these talks and deliberate on the demands by the Maratha organisations. The group will visit districts to hold talks with the organisors of the rallies.”
Patil also clarified that his party does not believe in removing the CM. “Fadnavisji has been in favour of the reservation and has been open to talks. Removal of a minister when he has made no mistake is not our culture,” he said.
However, the Opposition may not buy into this offer by the government. The leader of opposition in legislative council, Dhananjay Munde from the NCP, for instance has refused to be part of the empowered group. He said dialogue and research about the Maratha community has already been done by the previous government and there was no need for any fresh meetings.
Congress leaders mocked Fadnavis, asking why he was worried about his chair when the protests were not against him.