Shocking Maratha Uprising: Stones Rain on MLA Prakash Solanke’s Home, Resignations Pour In!

Uncover the latest turmoil in Maharashtra as Maratha protests escalate, with shocking stone-throwing incidents, political resignations, and community demands. Dive into the unfolding drama now.

A violent crowd launched stones at the residence of NCP MLA Prakash Solanke in Majalgaon taluka, Beed district
A violent crowd launched stones at the residence of NCP MLA Prakash Solanke in Majalgaon taluka, Beed district.

In the midst of the ongoing Maratha reservation agitation in Maharashtra, a scene of unrest unfolded as a violent crowd launched stones at the residence of NCP MLA Prakash Solanke in Majalgaon taluka, Beed district. Not stopping there, they set several of his parked vehicles ablaze on a fateful Monday.

The Maratha community’s frustration spilled onto the Dhule-Solapur highway, where hundreds of individuals, representing the Maratha community, blocked the road by igniting tire barricades in the early hours of the morning. Meanwhile, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) had to suspend its services in nine districts, particularly in the Marathwada region, due to its buses becoming targets for stone-throwing protesters in various districts.

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Leaders from the Maratha community have taken a decisive stance, prohibiting politicians from entering their villages. Over 400 villages have passed resolutions to this effect, and some have communicated their decisions to the authorities. Additionally, some villages have decided to boycott the upcoming elections, intensifying the protest.

Several politicians, including MLAs and MPs, encountered roadblocks set by Maratha activists when attempting to enter these villages. In response to these incidents, various leaders, including MP Shrikant Shinde and Minister Dada Bhuse, chose to cancel their scheduled tours.

The Maratha activists escalated their protests by vandalizing the office of BJP MLA Prashant Bamb in Sambhaji Nagar district’s Gangapur area during a Monday afternoon demonstration. Furthermore, they set the office of the Majalgaon Nagar Parishad on fire and targeted police vehicles. The protesters even called for a shutdown of the local market, demonstrating the intensity of their discontent.

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Considering the attacks on public representatives and government offices, the police have increased security measures for politicians and ministers. Opposition leaders have sharply criticized the home department for the attack on the MLA’s residence and called for the resignation of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio. NCP MP Supriya Sule asserted, “Maharashtra’s home minister should immediately resign over the intelligence failure in the state as a sitting MLA’s house is being attacked.”

In a significant development, BJP leader Laxman Pawar resigned as the MLA for Gevrai to express support for the Maratha reservation demand. He submitted his resignation to Assembly Speaker Rahul Narwekar.

Hemant Patil, belonging to the Shiv Sena, had already announced his resignation as an MP in support of the community’s demand. He emphasized his commitment to the cause by writing his resignation letter at the protest site in Umarkhed, Yavatmal, and planned to hand it over to Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday. The NCP’s Atul Benke, the MLA for Junnar, also expressed readiness to resign if it would contribute to the Maratha reservation cause.

Notably, several corporators and sarpanches have also tendered their resignations in solidarity with the Maratha community’s demand.

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Maratha leader Manoj Jarange-Patil, who has been on a hunger strike for six days, addressed the attack on Solanke’s home by suggesting that the MLA might have provoked community members. He urged the chief minister to maintain control over individuals making controversial statements and not obstruct the peaceful protests of the Marathas.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shinde promised Kunbi caste certificates to Marathas with records indicating them as Kunbis. He urged Jarange-Patil to end his fast and receive medical treatment, assuring that the government would engage with the protesters.

Revenue Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil conveyed the decision made during a cabinet sub-committee meeting on Maratha reservation and emphasized the government’s willingness to provide Kunbi caste certificates to those with appropriate records. However, Jarange-Patil refused to end his hunger strike until all Marathas received reservation, insisting on equal treatment for the entire community.

Jarange-Patil stated that the third phase of his reservation agitation would commence on November 1. The Maratha reservation issue gained significant attention when police resorted to lathi charges and tear gas against protesters in Jalna’s Antarwali village on September 1.

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This government’s use of force led to increased pressure, with opposition leaders visiting the village to support the agitation. As a result, the government initiated talks with Jarange-Patil and issued a resolution to grant Kunbi caste certificates to Marathas with ancestral references in historical documents, thus allowing them to access quota benefits as Kunbis under the OBC category in Marathwada.

While Jarange-Patil ended his first hunger strike after assurances of reservation within 40 days, the issue remained unresolved, leading him to begin a fresh hunger strike. Tragically, the state has witnessed seven suicides in support of the reservation demand in the past two weeks, underscoring the urgency and complexity of the situation.

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