The ongoing pro-Maratha quota agitation took a tragic twist after an 18-year-old youth, Vivek Rahade from Beed district, committed suicide. This has prompted NCP leader Parth Pawar, the grandnephew of party chief Sharad Pawar, to approach the Supreme Court as an intervener in the Maratha quota case, which has been transferred to a larger bench but with the apex court granting a stay on the 12 per cent quota in education and 13 per cent in government jobs.
‘‘Devastated to hear of the tragic death of Vivek, who committed suicide for the cause of Maratha reservation. To avert a chain reaction of such unfortunate incidents, Maratha leaders have to wake up and fight for this cause. Requesting Maharashtra Government to step in to solve the crisis,’’ he tweeted.
‘‘The flame that Vivek has ignited in our minds can set the whole system ablaze. The future of an entire generation is at stake. I have no choice but to approach the Hon'ble Supreme Court and file an intervener application in the Maratha reservation matter pending before it,’’ he declared.
Parth, the son of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar further said, ‘’ I am ready to carry the burning torch of Maratha agitation in my heart and knock the doors of justice for Vivek and millions of other helpless Viveks.’’
The series of tweets by Parth surprised NCP leaders. His aunt and NCP MP Supriya Sule said, ‘‘If someone is taking the initiative for a cause it needs to be welcomed. There is nothing wrong. The state government has already taken up the issue.’’
In his suicide note, Vivek is reported to have written, he was the son of a farmer and aimed to become big in his life. ‘‘I recently appeared for the NEET exam but was not able to secure a place, as there was no reservation. My family cannot afford to send me to a private educational institution. The state and Central government will show some sympathy after my death,’’ he added.
Parth had recently hogged the headlines after being censured by Pawar for demanding a CBI probe in the Sushant Singh Rajput case and for welcoming the laying of the foundation stone for the Ram temple in Ayodhya. He had tweeted 'Satyamev Jayate' on the SC ruling to hand over the SSR case to CBI.
His latest move comes at a time when various organisations representing the Maratha community have decided to agitate for an early restoration of quota. One such group has announced a statewide agitation on October 10.
On its part, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government has moved an application in the Supreme Court to vacate the interim stay granted last month on the Maratha quota under the Socially and Educationally Backward Classes Act, 2018.