NEW DELHI: In fresh violence over the demand for Maratha quota, the residence of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Prakash Solanke in Maharashtra’s Beed district was set on fire on Monday. It is not clear whether the Majalgaon MLA, who belongs to the NCP faction led by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, was present inside the residence at the time of the incident which occurred at around 11am.
Reacting to the incident chief minister Eknath Shinde said, “Manoj Jarange Patil(Maratha reservation activist) should take note of the fact what turn this protest is taking.It is going in the wrong direction.”
Manoj Jarange Patil, who works as a coordinator for the Maratha Morcha, is on a hunger strike unto death demanding reservation for the Maratha community.
Shinde also cautioned people against inciting violence in the name of Maratha reservation and said that due to certain people, suspicion is being cast on the entire movement. “Those who are involved in violence should also keep in mind that it also harms the Maratha society and their families will also suffer due to it,” the chief minister said.
NCP MP Supriya Sule blamed the state government for the attack. “This is a complete failure of the home minister of Maharashtra and the government. This is the failure of triple engine govt in Maharashtra. Today an MLA’s house is set on fire, what is the home ministry and home minister doing? It is their responsibility,” Sule said.
Earlier, an audio clip of the MLA in which he purportedly spoke about the Maratha quota agitation and made a veiled comment on the fasting quota activist Manoj Jarange had gone viral.
In the audio clip, Solanke was purportedly heard saying that “the issue (the demand for reservation and the ultimatum of 40 days given to the government for its implementation by October 24) has become a child’s game.
“The person, who has not even contested a gram panchayat election, has become a smart person today,” he said in an apparent dig at Jarange.
Members of the Maratha community have been staging protests seeking reservation in government jobs and education under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.
The agitation has intensified after Jarange sat on an indefinite fast from October 25 at Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district as part of the second phase of the protest.
(With inputs from agencies)
Watch Maratha quota protest: NCP MLA Prakash Solanke’s house torched by protesters, vehicles set on fire

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