Mumbai: Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has reiterated that his govt won't rest until it grants reservation to the Maratha community. The statement comes as Manoj Jarange-Patil ended his fast on Thursday (September 14).
CM Shinde, who had skipped visiting Antarwali Sarate, the village where Jarange-Patil had been holding his fast-unto-death agitation to advocate for Maratha Reservation for the past 17 days, reached the village on Thursday morning. He had a brief discussion with Jarange-Patil for about 10 minutes, following which the Maratha leader accepted a glass of orange juice to mark the end of his fast.
"We have decided to give the government a month. However, I won't leave this place (the site of agitation) for 30 days," Jarange-Patil said.
"I'm ready to give even 10 more days, but we want a quota that will withstand legal scrutiny," he added.
Shinde praises Patil's efforts
Speaking on the occasion, Shinde praised Jarange-Patil's dedication to the Maratha community.
"I have known Manoj for many years. He has always been fighting for the community. Whenever we met, he never spoke of any personal demands. He is committed to the community. He has the people's support because he is honest. I thank him for ending his fast and also congratulate him for initiating such an agitation. The government is clear in its stance. We are committed to providing reservation to the Maratha community. We have already approved the appointments of 3,700 youths from the community. This demonstrates the depth of our commitment," CM Shinde said.
Jarange-Patil also praised CM Shinde.
"Ever since we began our agitation on August 29, I was certain that only Eknath Shinde would deliver justice to us. I love my community. Everyone here knows I won't stop until a decision is made in favor of the community. I have always maintained this stance. All the hopes of the community are now resting with Shinde saheb, and I know he is the one with the courage to make bold decisions," he said after ending his fast.
"Shinde saheb has proven, by coming here, that only he will do justice to our demands. But I'm not going to get carried away by this; I will continue to press him more vigorously to fulfill our demands," Jarange-Patil added.
"The government had requested a one-month window from me. I told them that I would consult the community. We held a meeting, and over 50,000 people attended. I asked them whether we should accept this. The other condition was to end the fast. The community approved both decisions. I conveyed this to the government," he explained, discussing the events of the past couple of days.
"I haven't moved an inch away from our demands," he assured the community members."