After protesters demanding reservation for the Dhangar community smeared turmeric on revenue minister Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, Gopichand Padalkar, a leader representing the Dhangar community in the BJP and member of the Maharashtra State Council, requested Minister Vikhe Patil to interpret their use of "Bhandara" (Turmeric Powder) as a positive gesture symbolising the blessing of Lord 'Khandoba,' whom the Dhangar community worships.
Padalkar emphasised that the ongoing battle for reservation rights for the Dhangar community is already in progress in the courts, with Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis supporting their cause. Consequently, Padalkar urged community members not to be swayed by other political parties' tactics.
"We are already fighting for Dhangar community reservation in the high court, and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is supporting us in this struggle. Therefore, I implore all community members not to resort to such actions and not to be influenced by other political parties," Padalkar stated. He suggested that using turmeric powder to express their protest is appropriate, but everyone should remain composed. Additionally, he asked Minister Vikhepatil to view the "Bhandara" incident as a blessing from Lord Khandoba, as he conveyed in a video statement issued by his office.
During Revenue Minister Radhakrishna Vikhepatil's tour of Solapur district, a delegation advocating for Dhangar community reservation met him. While submitting their demands, one individual from the group smeared turmeric powder on him, expressing their frustration over the lack of reservation progress.
The person, identified as Rakesh Bangale, claimed to be an activist in the Dhangar reservation movement. Speaking to local media, Rakesh Bangale stated, "The Dhangar community deserves reservation, and it should not infringe upon SC reservations. If the government does not promptly address Dhangar community reservation, we may resort to similar protests against the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Ministers."
In response to the incident, Revenue Minister Radhakrishna VikhePatil told the media, "I feel fortunate that 'Bhandara,' considered a 'Prasad' (offering) of Lord 'Khandoba,' was applied to me. The act occurred suddenly, and security personnel apprehended the individual. However, I have instructed the local police not to file any charges against him."