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Sharad Pawar Rubbing Salt in the Wounds of Marathas: Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde) on Jalna Lathicharge – News18

Shiv Sena (UBT) activists stage a protest against Jalna administration over the alleged lathicharge, at Lalbaug on Saturday. (PTI)

“The Opposition is doing crooked politics on the Maratha issue. Sharad Pawar has always politicised the issue…Pawar could have easily given the reservation through the Mandal Commission,” says Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjeev Bhor

Maharashtra Chief Minister (CM) Eknath Shinde’s Shiv Sena came down heavily on Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, who during his visit to those injured in the Jalna lathicharge, blamed the government for manhandling the protest of Maratha community.

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At least a dozen police officers were injured after a protest for Maratha reservation in the Jalna district of central Maharashtra turned violent on Friday as protesters resorted to stone-pelting. Police used lathicharge to disperse the crowd and even fired teargas shells at a mob at Antarwali village in Dhule-Solapur road. Some private vehicles and at least 15 state transport buses were vandalised and torched in the violence that broke out during the protest.

Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjeev Bhor said, “The Opposition is doing crooked politics on the Maratha issue. Pawar has always politicised the issue. He is rubbing salt in their wounds. Because of him, the reservation status is dangling. Had Pawar actually wanted and decided, he could have given reservation through the Mandal Commission,”

Bhor further alleged: “The earlier reservation was demanded by then Prime Minister VP Singh. However, it got stuck in red tape only because of Pawar’s refusal. Now that they are no longer in power and the party is on the decline, Pawar is in a state of despair.”

Newly appointed leader of opposition and Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar also condemned the incident. Reacting to it, Bhor said, “Wadettiwar is a staunch opponent of Maratha reservation. He had once dismissed the Gaikwad report as ‘bogus’.”

“Today, the opposition is pretending that it stands behind the Maratha community. But it has a history of insulting the Maratha community. Earlier, in Uddhav Thackeray’s mouthpiece, Saamana, Uddhavji and Ambadas Danve had insulted the silent march of Maratha community. Now, they are portraying that they are with the Maratha community.”

He also reminded the Maha Vikas Aghadi (Sena (Thackeray)-Congress-NCP) that when senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan was the chief minister, he had ordered lathicharge on workers demanding reservation. “Why did Pawar not utter a word then? Also, why was the reservation cancelled when he (Uddhav) was the Chief minister of Maharashtra,” he asked.

The party is trying to portray Shinde as a true Maratha leader who is concerned about the issue. The press note issued by the party says that “several problems of the Maratha community have been solved forever by Shinde, be it the issue of recruitment of Maratha candidates for MPSC or others”.

It states: “Shinde has always been supportive of Maratha reservation. Being a Maratha himself, he naturally has affection for the community. The Maratha community also has positive feelings about him. Our CM has taken charge of victims’ medical and treatment expenses.”

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