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Maratha agitators fighting for reservation to form political party for LS polls

Devdiscourse News Desk mumbai Last Updated at 08-11-2018 18:30:28 IST India

A section of Maratha agitators fighting for the cause of reservation Thursday announced the formation of a political outfit that will contest upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra.

The new outfit 'Maharashtra Kranti Sena' would be headed by Suresh Patil who claimed to have been working with 'Maratha Akrakshan Sanghrsh Samiti' for the last ten years. Talking to PTI from Satara in western Maharashtra, around 260 km from here, Patil said he and his supporters took the pledge to form the new party and work for the community at the historic Raireshwar temple where Chhatrapati Shivaji had taken the oath to form 'Swarajya' in the 17th century.

He said Maratha organisations like Sakal Maratha Samaj (SMS) and Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM) that have been spearheading the agitation for quota in jobs and education, have opposed the new outfit. "But we are not using the word 'Maratha' in the name of our political party. We hope they (SMS and MKM) drop their misgivings about us and join the party," said Patil.

He also said Udayanraje Bhosale, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP from Satara and a direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji, has extended his support to the Maharashtra Kranti Sena.

"We hope Bhosale would contest the Lok Sabha polls on our ticket," said Patil. When contacted, Maratha Kranti Thok Morcha convener Sanjay Sawant accused Patil of forming the party to further his own political motives. Disputing Patil's claim that Bhosale is supporting the new outfit, he said, "We will believe it when we hear from Bhosale himself". "Patil should not take the Maratha community for granted. Our organisation confronted him in Satara today and he decided to change the party's name from 'Maratha Kranti Sena' to 'Maharashtra Kranti Sena', saying his objective is to work for all sections of the society," Sawant claimed.

He said the MKM had organised 58 silent marches all over Maharashtra to demand reservation for the community under the OBC (Other Backward Classes) category. Sawant blamed the state government for various divisions in the MKM. "Patil wanted to capitalise the issue as the November 15 deadline given by the state government for taking a decision on the issue of Maratha reservation is nearing," he alleged.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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