Congress state president Nana Patole has ignited controversy with allegations that Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde orchestrated a hunger strike led by Jarange Patil to demand quotas for the Maratha community. Patole’s remarks, made on Sunday, have raised eyebrows and led to debates in the state’s political landscape.
Addressing the situation, Patole claimed, “There was a hunger strike going on in the Jalna district. The situation was tense on August 31st at midnight, but Deputy Chief Minister (DCM) had issued directions for a lathi charge on the afternoon of September 1 when the INDIA alliance meeting was held in Mumbai. The intention was to distract attention from the INDIA meeting. It is now clear that CM Shinde had put Jarange Patil on a hunger strike. Fadnavis (referring to former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis) also apologized the very next day. This government is instigating quarrels between two communities.”
Patole’s allegations have the potential to stoke controversy as he criticizes both the government and Maratha agitator Jarange Patil in one statement. The implications of these claims could influence the political climate in Maharashtra, especially concerning the Maratha reservation issue, which has been a source of contention and protests in recent years.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Chief Minister Shinde, in a cabinet meeting, announced projects worth ₹45 thousand crores aimed at the development of the Marathwada region. This move is part of the government’s efforts to address the long-standing demands and aspirations of the Maratha community in the state.