Maratha quota protest leader Manoj Jarange today gave a deadline of 12 pm on Saturday for the state government to accept their demand. Mr Jarange also said the government should issue an ordinance by tonight.
Mr Jarange has threatened to march to Mumbai’s Azad Maidan for a massive protest if their demand remains unfulfilled. “I’ll take my decision tomorrow at 12 pm, but if I leave for Azad Maidan, I will not take it back,” he said. “If the government does not agree, then we will show what we can do.”
He has said the protesters won’t stop the agitation midway till the community is granted reservation in government jobs and education, while Maharashtra minister Deepak Kesarkar said the activist’s demands have been accepted.
Mr Jarange was addressing protesters at Shivaji Chowk in the Vashi area of neighbouring Navi Mumbai, after a meeting with a government delegation.
The activist had earlier said the delegation has given him some documents which he will discuss with his supporters to announce their course of action.
“There is no going back on the agitation till we get reservation,” he said.
The government has been trying to persuade Mr Jarange not to proceed to Mumbai.
State Education Minister Deepak Kesarkar told reporters that Mr Jarange’s demands have been accepted, and they will be fulfilled as per government procedure.
So far, 37 lakh Kunbi certificates have been given, and the number will go up to 50 lakh, he said. Kunbi refers to Other Backward Classes (OBC).
Earlier, the Maratha quota leader reached Navi Mumbai with thousands of supporters to push for reservation for the Maratha community.
The Mumbai Police had issued notice to Mr Jarange denying him permission to hold a hunger strike in the city.
The Mumbai Police suggested the protesters could gather at the International Corporation Park Ground at Kharghar in Navi Mumbai after seeking permission from the authority concerned.
The police said if the morcha did not adhere to the notice, they will be held in contempt of orders of the high court and Supreme Court.
The notice said the Shivaji Park ground did not have the capacity to accommodate such a large number of visitors. The police said that as per the Bombay High Court writ petition in the case, the court directed the police to ensure the protest does not cause any disturbance to the public in Mumbai.
Navi Mumbai police officials also met Mr Jarange and requested him to change the route of his march as a hospital is on the route.