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Maratha quota protesters launch political party; to contest 5 seats in LS polls

The new party, Maharashtra Kranti Sena, headed by Suresh Patil, convenor of Sakal Maratha Samaj and president, Maratha Kranti Sanghatana, was launched from Rayreshwar temple in Kolhapur to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra.

pune Updated: Nov 10, 2018 15:29 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Maharashtra,Maratha quota
Convenors of Maharashtra Kranti Sena taking pledge in the city on Thursday(HT/PHOTO)

A faction of Maratha agitators under Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella organisation of Maratha groups demanding reservation in jobs and education, launched a political party on the occasion of Diwali onThursday to press their demands. The new has decided to contest five Lok Sabha seats from western Maharashtra.

The new party, Maharashtra Kranti Sena, headed by Suresh Patil, convenor of Sakal Maratha Samaj and president, Maratha Kranti Sanghatana, was launched from Rayreshwar temple in Kolhapur to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra.

The historic Rayreshwar temple was the one where Chhatrapati Shivaji had taken an oath to form “swarajya” in the 17th century. “The goal of the new party is to work and ensure that the Maratha community gets the reservation and other basic things like education and jobs,” said Patil.

The supporters took a pledge to work for the betterment of the community. On the backdrop of Maratha outfits warning members not to form a political party in the community’s name, Patil clarified that he is not using the word “Maratha” for his political party.

The proposal to launch a political party was made earlier by the Sakal Maratha Samaj during a meeting of its convenors at Kolhapur in September. It was accepted unanimously during the meeting. The Sakal Maratha Samaj has been demanding reservations in jobs and education and has successfully consolidated Marathas in the last two years through silent marches and protests across the state.

Earlier, a faction of Sambhaji Brigade, another prominent Maratha organisation, had launched a political party although it received limited success in the 2017 civic elections in 10 municipal bodies. Political observers said the new party may prove a headache for Congress-NCP, as the alliances hope to encash Maratha sentiments in view of community’s agitation for reservation

The peaceful agitation by Marathas for reservations turned violent during July and August this year. The protestors also witnessed a split with women from the community launching their own organisation last week saying that they were being discriminated against by the parent body.

First Published: Nov 10, 2018 15:28 IST