Maratha reservation protest: Jarange continues targeting Devendra Fadnavis

After been criticised from all sides, Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange on Tuesday expressed regret for using abusive language during the agitation. However, he once again targeted 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.

Jarange tried to travel to Antarwali Sarati village from Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar as a protest, but told by the police that no such order to remove the stage or tent had been issued to them. 

“Devendra Fadnavis has ordered the removal of the tent and the stage at Antarwali Sarati. If my community is in problem how could I take medical treatment here (Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar)? This is bullying. Don`t we have a right to agitate?” Jarange questioned while speaking to reporters at a hospital where he was admitted.

Later, Jarange claimed he had a conversation with the police over the phone and they told him that the stage and tent were not being removed.

The legislative assembly was told today (Tuesday) that I had used swear words during my agitation. It was not intentional on my part to use such language. This might have happened accidentally. I take back my words and apologise,” he said.

Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar on Tuesday has directed the government to set up an SIT and conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the controversial remarks made by Jarange against Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis.

The Maratha reservation protest in the state has taken an aggressive mode since Sunday after Jarange made several allegations against Devendra Fadnavis and announcing that he will march to Mumbai alone to protest outside Fadnavis` official residence `Sagar Bunglow` in Malabar Hill. Jarange had used inappropriate words against the deputy CM, including communal slurs accusing that Fadnavis tried to kill him and sabotaging the agitation. 

The Maratha activist has been on hunger strike demanding reservation for the Maratha community in the state under Other Backward Class (OBC) category. The notification was issued in January for issuing certificates to eligible Kunbi (OBC) Marathas.

At a special session last week, the state legislature unanimously passed a bill providing 10 per cent separate reservation for the Maratha community in education and government jobs.

Jarange, however, insisted on quota for the Marathas under the OBC category and had continued his hunger strike.

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