Maratha quota stir: 2 MLAs from Pune, Solapur resign over Maratha reservation row

Mumbai: Hours after Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis chaired a meeting of ministers over the Maratha reservation row, two MLAs have resigned. Bharat Bhalke, Congress MLA from Pandharpur constituency (Solapur) and Dattatray Vithoba Bharne, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA from Indapur constituency (Pune), submitted their resignations to the Vidhan Sabha speaker on Thursday night.

Prior to that, Shiv Sena MLA from Kannad (Aurangabad) constituency, Harshvardhan Jadhav, offered his resignation amid Maratha community’s protest across the state demanding reservation in government jobs and education. In a show of solidarity with the Maratha Reservation agitation, the Pune Bar association on Thursday said that people arrested in connection with the protests will not be charged by advocates of the association for the cases filed against them.

Also Read: Maratha quota stir: Two MLAs quit from state government in support of Maratha reservation stir
The quota for Marathas has been a highly contentious issue, with the community comprising of around 30 per cent of the state’s population. In 2017, a huge rally was held by the Maratha Kranti Morcha over the issue in Mumbai. Besides reservation for the Maratha community, loan waiver, Kopardi rape and unemployment are some of the other issues against which the community is protesting.

On a related note, a Maratha community member, Jagannath Sonavne, who attempted suicide during the protest here, died on Wednesday. Sonavne, who consumed poison, was undergoing treatment at a hospital. Earlier on Monday, another Maratha protestor, Kakasaheb Shinde, jumped to death in the Godavari River in Aurangabad district.


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