Maratha protests: One faction calls for Mumbai bandh, some groups say they are not part of it
Organisers of Maratha protests in Maharashtra could not reach a consensus on Wednesday over the way to take their agitation forward for reservation to the community in government jobs.
A group from the community has declared a one-day shutdown in Mumbai on August 9, after Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella body of all the Maratha outfits, announced peaceful protests in the Maharashtra capital on the same day.
Amol Jadhavrao, who is leading the other group, said they will shut down the city from midnight on August 8 for 24 hours as part of their ongoing protest for reservation.
“We will observe a Mumbai bandh peacefully on August 9. There will be no violence at all. No emergency services will be obstructed during the bandh,” Jadhavrao said.
He also alleged some people from his community don’t want trouble for the state government and hence are trying to tone down the protests.
“We want the state government to give a written assurance about the promises made by CM (Devendra) Fadnavis. Until then we will continue our protests. There are some members who are more concerned about the inconvenience to the state government,” Jadhavrao said.
Coordinators of the protest in Mumbai on Tuesday declared a symbolic protest outside suburban collector office on August 9.
Virendra Pawar, one of the coordinators, said there is a lack of coordination and consensus among the factions which is leading to differences.
“We want a peaceful protest as we have seen how some miscreants used violence in the name of Maratha protests in Navi Mumbai, Chakan and other places last month,” Pawar said.
“We want to avoid that but some amongst us want aggressive protests. We have told them that they can do whatever they like to but we will not support them,” he added.
The Maratha agitation is struggling with a lack of coordination and rift among various factions of the community.
The protests are being run collectively by a number of outfits who have an informal coordination committee at the state level.
However, not all factions follow what the committee says as almost every district in the state has a different group even though all of them use the banner of Maratha Kranti Morcha.
Organisers from Beed district, who were the first to launch the second round of agitations in July, on Tuesday declared they are withdrawing their agitation till November, which was condemned by the rest of the state coordinators.
Their decision came after chief minister Fadnavis has said all the legal and constitutional procedures for reservation for the Marathas will be completed by November and also stayed the state government’s mega recruitment drive for 72,000 jobs.
They have also called an emergency meeting to discuss the issue in Aurangabad on Wednesday.