Maratha reservation: Shiv Sena MLA tenders resignation

Shiv Sena MLA from Kannad (Aurangabad) constituency, Harshvardhan Jadhav has offered his resignation to Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha speaker amid Maratha community’s protest across the state demanding reservation in government jobs and education.

Jadhav sent his resignation via mail and has left for Mumbai to hand over a physical copy to the speaker of Vidhan Sabha.

The quota for Marathas has been a highly contentious issue, with the community comprising of around 30 percent of the state’s population.

In 2017, a huge rally was held by the Maratha Kranti Morcha in the same connection in Mumbai.

Jadhav, the son-in-law of the BJP’s state unit president Raosaheb Danve, had recently announced that he will step down if the demands of the agitating Maratha community are not met. In his letter addressed to Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagde, Jadhav said he was tendering his resignation Wednesday afternoon. When contacted, Jadhav said he had also e-mailed his resignation to the Speaker and will personally submit it to him in Mumbai on Thursday.

The letter stated that he was tendering his resignation this afternoon. He is the son-in-law of BJP’s state unit president Raosaheb Danve. Another MLA from adjacent district Bhausaheb Patil Chikatgaonkar, who represents Vaijapur assembly constituency for the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) too announced that he is resigning to push for the Maratha quota cause.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar, in a statement released here last night had blamed Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil for failing to handle the situation in the state in a sensibly.

State Congress chief Ashok Chavan accused the government of planning to destabilize communal harmony by forcing Maratha leaders to escalate the agitation. “The government is planning to isolate the Maratha community by letting the leaders to escalate the agitation and pitching the other social groups in the state against the community,” Chavan said at a press conference on Wednesday.

In his resignation letter addressed to the Speaker, Chikatgaonkar said Kakasaheb Shinde, who committed suicide on 23 July by jumping into the Godavari river for the Maratha quota demand, was a resident of Kanadgaon village in Vaijapur constituency. “I am grieved by his death. Considering the self-respect of the Marathas, I am tendering my resignation,” he said.

In the 288-member House, the Shiv Sena has 63 MLAs and the NCP 41.