All party MLAs on Wednesday staged demonstrations at the main gate of Mantralaya. The police dispersed them and removed the lock they had put on the Mantralaya gate. NCP MLAs staged demonstrations at the Vidhan Sabha while demanding for a special session.
This was the second attempt of protests staged by the MLAs in different parts of Mumbai.
In all, 21 MLAs and MLCs from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) (both factions), Shiv Sena (UBT) and Congress held a protest at the main gate of Mantralaya. NCP’s Nilesh Lanke and Amol Mitkari, Shiv Sena (UBT) Kailas Patil and others participated in the protests. The group locked the main gate of Mantralaya building, while shouting slogans: ‘Marathas should get reservation’ and ‘Maratha reservation is our right’.
Speaking to the media, NCP Ajit Pawar faction leader and MLC Amol Mitkari said, “The Women’s reservation bill was passed in a special parliament session, so another session should be called to resolve this issue. Our government had sought 40 days to give clarity on this issue, but as the deadline has passed, the final decision should be taken as early as possible."
MLA Kailas Patil said, “This government should take serious cognisance of the protests happening in the state. It should ask the Centre to call for a special session of the assembly and clear the path of Maratha reservation."
They locked up the main gate of the Mantralaya building, stating that till the government takes a final decision and gives reservation to Marathas, they would not allow the Mantralaya to function.
Ministers try to pacify protesters
Ministers Anil Patil and Sanjay Bansod reached Mantralaya to pacify the members, asking them to be patient as the all-party meeting was underway at the state guest house and a positive outcome was expected. However, the protesting MLAs and MLCs refused to budge. The police then intervened and detained them.
Another set of MLAs — Rohit Pawar, Jitendra Awhad, Shashikant Shinde from NCP, and Vilas Potnis from Shiv Sena (UBT) staged protest on the staircase of the state Assembly. A delegation of NCP leaders has also sought an appointment of State Assembly speaker Rahul Narverkar with a demand to call a special session of assembly on the issue.
“We have no hopes from this government as they have played with the community’s emotions. So we are protesting here," said NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad.