Mumbai, (The Hindu): Former Chief Minister Narayan Rane urged the government to accept the demands made by the Maratha community or face a fierce agitation on Tuesday, the eve of the silent march planned by the community in Mumbai.
Mr. Rane said 20-25 lakh Marathas will gather for Wednesday’s rally. The protesters will march from Byculla to Azad Maidan via J.J. flyover.
“This will be a silent protest, hence nobody will address the gathering. A delegation of 25 protesters will meet Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis with a charter of demands, including those for reservations,” Mr. Rane said at a press conference at Vidhan Bhavan.
The delegation will consist of students and legislators. “After all, no law can be cleared without legislators, and the legislative process is extremely important,” Mr. Rane said.
He said Mr. Fadnavis will make a statement about the Maratha protest and his meetings with the delegation in both Houses of the State legislature.
The Congress leader was accompanied by Maratha leaders from all parties, such as Vinayak Mete of Shivsangram, Narendra Patil of NCP, Prasad Lad of BJP and Bharat Bhalake of Congress at the press conference.
Mr. Rane said the next course of action would be decided after Tuesday’s protest, and that fierce action needed to be taken.
Speaking in the Legislative Council, Leader of the Opposition Dhananjay Munde said, “Rounds of discussions have been completed since December 2014, but no action has been taken. Now, the protests have reached Mumbai, and the government should take action immediately.”
Meanwhile, Education Minister Vinod Tawde announced on Tuesday that schools in Mumbai district will be closed on account of the protest march.
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