MUMBAI: In a major embarrassment for Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde, a video has gone viral in which he is apparently shown as being flippant towards the Maratha quota issue.
In the video, which captures the moments before a press conference after the all-party meeting on the issue on Monday, Shinde can be heard saying, “We just need to speak and get it out of the way and leave, right?” Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar replies, “Yes.” Deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis then warns them, saying, “The mike is on.”
The video drew strong criticism from the opposition and from Maratha groups, who said it revealed the state government’s frivolous approach to the quota issue. Shinde later clarified that the clip was “doctored” and the video was “mischievous and aimed at maligning the government.”
“This shows the casual and non-serious approach of the government on this issue. It has hurt the sentiments of the Maratha community,” said Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar, who is leader of opposition in the state assembly.
“Is this the sensitivity shown by these people towards the Maratha agitation?” asked Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray and added “This is the mentality of the traitors. For the last 1.5 years, we have been listening to the lies. Let alone the Maratha community, can a single citizen of the country trust this government?”
Maratha leader Vinod Patil said, “I condemn this…If the government is not serious, the community will finally show the government its place.”
Watch Maratha quota stir: Opposition takes on Maha govt, Shinde says ‘committed to reservation’ for community

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