In a fiery exchange of words, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has launched a scathing attack on former Chief Minister and Shiv Sena (UBT) Chief Uddhav Thackeray, asserting that he is the actual impediment to Maratha reservation progress.
During a media interaction on Tuesday, Shinde did not mince words, stating, “Uddhav Thackeray has no moral right to speak on the Maratha reservation issue.” This came in response to Thackeray’s earlier criticisms of both the state and central governments regarding the quota issue.
Shinde went on to question Thackeray’s authority on the matter, saying, “He is not entitled to speak about Marathi pride and Maratha reservation. We, and even the Maratha community, are aware of his true feelings about our community.” Shinde highlighted the role of the previous Chief Minister, Devendra Fadnavis, in securing Maratha reservation, emphasizing that it was Fadnavis and his government who successfully defended it against legal challenges.
The Chief Minister further raised pertinent questions, “When the matter reached the Supreme Court, who was the Chief Minister then? Who chaired the cabinet sub-committee on Maratha reservation?” He held Uddhav Thackeray responsible for inaction and suggested that Thackeray lacks the moral authority to discuss the Maratha reservation issue, asserting that he is the real obstacle to its progress.
Shinde also referenced past events, stating, “The Maratha community knows who labeled their women’s march as ‘Muka (Kiss) Morcha’ and insulted the women. The same individuals led to the loss of the Maratha reservation granted by the Devendra Fadnavis government.” He stressed that the government is actively working to reinstate the reservation, with a curative petition already filed.
Moreover, Shinde assured that the government is swiftly gathering empirical data and is fully committed to granting reservation to the Maratha community, working diligently toward that goal. The exchange of allegations and counter-allegations underscores the complexity and sensitivity of the Maratha reservation issue in Maharashtra.