Maratha quota stir: CM Eknath Shinde questions Manoj Jarange's motives, says he keeps shifting goalposts

28 February,2024 09:37 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

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

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde. Pic/PTI

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, reported news agency PTI.

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

Maratha quota stir: 'I wonder who is behind Jarange's severe criticism'

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 CM 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," Shinde said, reported PTI.

Also Read: Maratha quota: Manoj Jarange Patil, others booked for illegal protests seeking reservation under OBC category

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.

Maratha quota stir: SIT against Jarange

"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, reported PTI.

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, reported PTI.

"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, reported PTI.

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

Maratha quota stir: Jarange expresses regret

Meanwhile, Under flak, Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange on Tuesday expressed regret for using abusive language during the agitation.

He once again targeted Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis alleging that he has ordered the removal of the tent at the protest site in Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district.

(With inputs from PTI)

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