Eknath Shinde Questions Maratha Quota Activist’s Motives

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'Kept Changing Demands': Eknath Shinde Questions Maratha Quota Activist's Motives

“I found Jarange to be a genuine person when he started the protest,” he said (File)

Mumbai:

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday raised questions about Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange’s motives, and wondered “who was behind” Jarange’s recent diatribe against the government.

The activist keeps changing his demands, Shinde said in the legislative council here.

He was responding to a demand by BJP leader of the house Pravin Darekar that stern action be taken against Jarange who recently accused deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of trying to kill him.

“I found Jarange to be a genuine person when he started the protest (for Maratha reservation). But he kept changing his demands. I wonder who is behind Jarange’s severe criticism…what is the motive. It will come out eventually,” Mr Shinde said.

Earlier in the day, Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar directed the government to set up an SIT and conduct a comprehensive inquiry into Jarange’s controversial remarks against Fadnavis.

“Both the houses passed the bill offering reservation to the Maratha community unanimously, without holding any discussion. But opposition leaders have started claiming that the passed bill will not stand the legal test. If someone comes forward and provides reasons for their claim, the government will give proper response on how it will pass the test,” the chief minister said.

Those who were in power for long did not give reservation to the Marathas, he said, taking a swipe at the Congress and undivided NCP.

“When the (earlier) Maratha reservation act was challenged in the Supreme Court, it was not defended by the then state government. The Maharashtra government lost the case because of its ineffectiveness,” Shinde further claimed, without naming then-chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Notably, Mr Shinde was one of the members of the cabinet sub-committee set up by Mr Thackeray to help with the legal battle in the SC. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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