Maharashtra speaker orders SIT probe into Maratha activist's remarks

BLP MLA Ashish Shelar demanded to know who was behind activist Jarange Patil's actions, aimed at creating "unrest" in the state

Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar (photo: @RahulN_Office/X)
Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar (photo: @RahulN_Office/X)


Maharashtra assembly speaker Rahul Narwekar on Tuesday, 27 February, directed the government to set up an SIT and conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the controversial remarks of Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange against deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The issue was raised by Ashish Shelar (BJP) in the Lower House. He said that provocative language to incite violence has no place in democracy.

Shelar demanded to know who was behind Jarange's actions, aimed at creating "unrest" in the state.

Speaking in Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district on Sunday, Jarange alleged Fadnavis was trying to kill him. The activist also said he would march to Mumbai and protest outside the residence of the deputy CM.

Jarange had also claimed that a poisoning attempt was made against him through saline, though he did not elaborate on it.

Shelar alleged there was a conspiracy to unsettle Maharashtra and malign the Maratha community, known to be brave and disciplined.

"We have been supporting Jarange's demands but are critical of his threatening remarks against Fadnavis," the BJP leader said.

Speaker Narwekar instructed the government to conduct a detailed inquiry by setting up a special investigation team (SIT).

Fadnavis said in the House that he has no complaints against Jarange. The SIT will investigate whose "script" he is speaking, the deputy CM said.

"Jarange may have made wild allegations against me. But the entire Maratha community supports me," he said.

On Monday, Jarange announced he is withdrawing his 17-day-old fast undertaken over the Maratha quota issue, but insisted he would continue his agitation until the Maharashtra government starts issuing Kunbi caste certificates to extended family members of people already having such documents, thereby allowing them to avail reservation benefits.

The decision by Jarange, who has launched fast multiple times since August 2023, came a day after he announced a march to Mumbai to press for his demands related to quota in jobs and education for the Maratha community and coincided with the start of the state legislature's budget session in Mumbai.

At a special session last week, the state legislature unanimously passed a bill providing 10 per cent separate reservation for the Maratha community in education and government jobs.

Jarange, however, insisted on quota for the Marathas under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category and had continued his fast.

Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram 

Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines