Mumbai, (The Hindu): Maratha Kranti Morcha, the apex body leading the community’s ongoing pro-quota agitation, said that the leaders that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met on Sunday were not members of the group.
The Morcha claimed that it had not sent any representatives and was not interested in talking to Mr. Fadnavis as he was already aware of their demands.
Later, Bhaiyya Patil, media coordinator of the Morcha, said Mr. Fadnavis and Rajya Sabha MP Narayan Rane met hotel owner Prakash Jagtap, former Nationalist Congress Party turned BJP leader Jayant Patil, BJP and RSS activist Balraj Randive, and Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksha party leader Shyam Sawant, who have nothing to do with the movement. None of the four could be contacted.
Mr. Rane was joined by his son and Congress MLA Nitesh Rane and elder son former MP Nilesh Rane. The delegation did not interact with the media, neither did it reveal the names of the alleged Maratha leaders.
Mr. Patil said, “The leaders whom the CM met were BJP activists from Osmanabad. Mr. Fadnavis and Mr. Rane have fooled the Marathas by holding talks with fake individuals. All coordinators of the Morcha were busy in a meeting at Latur.”
However, Mr. Fadnavis said, “The government has already said that it will hold talks with anyone who is willing. We are committed to fulfil the demands of the community. If some do not want to meet us, we are fine. When they want to meet us, we will be ready. If they want promises in writing, we will give it.”
Mr. Fadnavis also assured partial withdrawal of police cases filed against Maratha youths for vandalising properties during the protests demanding quota. “However, criminal charges like assaulting police officials will not be withdrawn,” he said.
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