Mumbai: Citizens of the state woke up to a silent campaign and ideology, called Maratha Kranti Morcha (MKM), two years ago, when all, including politicians were shown the door by the Maratha community that had successfully held out protests. Since then till now, there have been differences among the convenors, as some wanted to float a new political party for Marathas, which was staunchly opposed by MKM.
They even threatened to disrupt the event on Thursday if Suresh Patil used the name Maratha for his party. Having got a strong message, Patil succumbed and floated a new party, ‘Maharashtra Kranti Sena,’ deliberately shedding the word ‘Maratha.’ Patil during the convention claimed he has received support from Udayanraje Bhosale, Member of Parliament (MP) of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), an important Maratha leader from Satara.
Bhosale is a 13th direct descendant of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, whose support would also have ramifications on NCP and Maratha politics. He further said his party would contest on five seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. Leaders within the MKM and Sakal Maratha Samaj — the two umbrella outfits spearheading the quota agitation – distanced themselves from this new party.
Morcha coordinators from Mumbai, led by Mahesh Rane protested near the Raireshwar temple. Other Maratha community leaders from Pune, Nashik and Aurangabad among other districts in the state too distanced themselves from Patil. These two umbrella organisations have played a critical role in mobilising the Marathas for pursuing their demands for reservation.
Rane dubbed Patil as an agent, acting on behalf of the ruling BJP and accused him of sowing discord within the pro-quota agitation before the elections. “He is nothing but a BJP agent who has deliberately sent with the objective to break our Maratha agitation and demand for reservation,” said Rane. Shantaram Kunjir, a morcha coordinator from Pune said they never wanted to be associated with any political outfit.
“Right from the beginning we were adamant, ‘Maratha Kranti Morcha’ will not be attached to any political outfit. The Maratha agitation had always been unique in a sense, no political leader or party was leading this march,” Kunjir stated. Praveen Gaikwad, community leader said, the move of floating a party would only benefit BJP, as it sought to isolate, divide the community.