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Maratha quota activists to hold rally in city on August 9

Maratha outfits seeking reservation for the community in jobs and education said today that a mega rally will be held in Mumbai on August 9, even as protesters clashed with police in Solapur during a bandh on the issue.

The Solapur bandh call was given by prominent Maratha organisations including the Maratha Kranti Morcha and Sakal Maratha Samaj, police said.

Police cane charged protesters after they pelted shops and some vehicles with stones, an official said.

The situation became tense after the protesters on the main road in Solapur clashed with the police, he said.

There have been statewide protests by Maratha community after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis claimed that anti-social elements were planning to let loose snakes among the Warkaris (devotees) at Pandharpur on Ashadhi Ekadashi on July 23 in order to create panic and a stampede-like situation.

The protests held in Aurangabad, Navi Mumbai, Thane and Nashik turned violent.

“We will hold a mega rally in Mumbai on August 9, August Kranti Din. We want to show our strength and endurance to the government,” Morcha leader Vinod Pokharkar said.

Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena said that the government should not wait for the state backward commission’s report and go ahead with awarding reservation to the Maratha community.

Speaking after a meeting with party legislators, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said, “Additional reservation should be given to the Maratha community, without touching the existing reservations for SC, ST and OBCs in education and government jobs.”

“The state government needs to send such a report to the Union government for getting the reservation, without waiting for the Commission’s report,” Thackeray said.

After the meeting, a delegation of Sena ministers and MLAs met Fadnavis and demanded immediate implementation of quota for Marathas.

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