Maratha quota protesters plan political party to contest 2019 polls

The political party is likely to be launched by Diwali.

Updated: Sep 12, 2018 23:30:07

By Yogesh Joshi

Members of the Maratha community in Maharashtra take part in a rally in Mumbai on August 9. (AFP File Photo)

A faction of Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella organisation of Maratha groups demanding reservation in jobs and education, has decided to launch a political party by Diwali, indicating a strategic move to leverage mass support to enter politics.

The proposed political party, which will be launched from Rayreshwar temple in Kolhapur, will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra.

The proposal to launch a political party was made by the Sakal Maratha Samaj during a meeting of its convenors at Kolhapur on Wednesday. It was accepted unanimously.

The Sakal Maratha Samaj has been demanding reservations in jobs and education and has successfully consolidated Marathas in the last two years through silent marches and protests across the state.

Earlier, a faction of Sambhaji Brigade, another prominent Maratha organisation, had launched a political party although it received limited success in the 2017 civic elections in 10 municipal bodies.

“Various political parties have so far failed to address the issues and concerns of the Maratha community. To maintain the momentum of the consolidation of the community, we have now decided to launch a political party and offer a solid alternative,” said Suresh Patil, convenor of Sakal Maratha Samaj and president of Maratha Kranti Sanghatana.

The new political party, which will be launched from Rayreshwar temple in Kolhapur, will contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Maharashtra, said Patil.

The peaceful agitation by Marathas for reservations turned violent during July and August this year. The protestors also witnessed a split with women from the community launching their own organisation last week saying that they were being discriminated against by the parent body.

First Published: Sep 12, 2018 23:29:59


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