A three-hour protest led by BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sambhaji Chhatrapati on the Maratha reservation issue was held in Nashik on Monday, with leaders cutting across party lines, including two Maharashtra ministers, arriving at the venue on Gangapur Road here to offer support.
The silent protest, with participants wearing black shirts and black masks, took place from 10am to 1pm and among those who came to offer support to the cause were ministers Chhagan Bhujbal from the NCP and Dada Bhuse from the Shiv Sena, as well as NCP's Narhari Zirwal, deputy speaker in the state Assembly.
"The Maratha community must get reservation. The NCP, Sena and Congress support this demand. The Supreme Court struck down quotas for Marathas, and also reservation in local bodies for OBCs. The Maratha community and OBCs should get together to fight for their demands and the Centre must cooperate in the court battle," Bhujbal said.
On May 5, the Supreme Court had struck down a Maharashtra law that gave reservations in jobs and education to Marathas under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes category.
The apex court also ordered recently that reservation in local bodies in Maharashtra for SC, ST and OBCs etc should not cumulatively exceed 50 per cent of the total number of seats.
Meanwhile, organisers of the protest said BJP MP Sambhaji Chhatrapati would address a meeting later in the evening on a proposed 'long march' of outfits demanding quota for the Maratha community.