Maratha Quota Demand: Two Shiv Sena MPs From Eknath Shinde Camp Resign; Karnataka State Bus Set On Fire In Maharashtra

Hingoli MP Hemant Patil submitted his resignation to the Lok Sabha secretariat in New Delhi on Monday, while Nashik MP Hemant Godse forwarded his resignation letter to CM Eknath Shinde.

Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde

Shiv Sena Members of Parliament hailing from Nashik and Hingoli in Maharashtra, both staunch supporters of Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, have tendered their resignations in solidarity with the Maratha reservation demand.

Hingoli MP Hemant Patil submitted his resignation to the Lok Sabha secretariat in New Delhi on Monday, while Nashik MP Hemant Godse forwarded his resignation letter to CM Shinde.

Speaking to media in New Delhi, Patil reportedly explained, "As Lok Sabha Speaker was not present in his office, my resignation letter was submitted to the office secretary. I have also received an acknowledgement."

Notably, Patil made this decision when he was halted by protestors in Yavatmal, who demanded clarity on his stance regarding the reservation issue. On the spot, Patil drafted his resignation letter and handed it over to the demonstrators.

In response to a comment from NCP (Sharad Pawar faction) working president Supriya Sule, who suggested that his resignation was a publicity stunt, Patil asserted, "'I am not born in Nehru-Gandhi family. There two-three generations are in power. They would have taken the initiative (to grant quota)," and added that if leaders are genuinely concerned about the Maratha community, they should resign.

Patil also pointed out, "Several leaders from the Maratha community went on to become chief ministers but the community didn't get anything"

In Nashik, Shiv Sena MP Godse drafted his resignation letter when Maratha protestors, who were observing a fast, asked for his stance on the matter.

He sent the resignation letter to CM Shinde and implored him to expedite the process of granting reservation to the Maratha community.

The letter mentioned, "For the last many years, the Maratha community has been striving to get the reservation. Earlier, the reservation for the community didn't survive in the court. After becoming the chief minister, you (Shinde) focused your attention on the issue of the reservation. It added, "After you took oath in front of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's bust at Dussehra rally to provide reservation to the Maratha community, members of the Maratha community felt assured."

Godse expressed concern that the government had failed to address the reservation issue within the time frame set by Manoj Jarange, a quota activist from Jalna, whose indefinite hunger strike for reservation reached its sixth day on Monday.

"The health of Manoj Jarange is deteriorating with each passing day. Considering the strong feelings of the Maratha community, I am resigning as the Member of Parliament," Godse stated.

Karnataka state bus set on fire

In a separate incident, a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus was deliberately set on fire in Turori village of Osmanabad district, Maharashtra, on Monday night. This act occurred in the midst of escalating Maratha reservation protests in the state, resulting in the burning of the bus, which was carrying 48 passengers at the time. Fortunately, all passengers are reported to be safe.

The KSRTC bus, bearing registration number KA 38F1201, was set ablaze by unidentified individuals while en route from Bhalki in Bidar district to Pune. Following the incident, KSRTC officials promptly initiated emergency measures to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.

According to News9live, the protestors halted the bus and instructed passengers to disembark before setting it on fire in Turori village. Local law enforcement has registered a case and is actively seeking the culprits.

Upon learning of the incident, the Kalyana Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (KKRTC) suspended all bus services to Maharashtra. This decision was made by KKRTC Managing Director M. Rachappa. The resumption of bus services is contingent on the restoration of law and order in the neighbouring state, and no specific timeline has been provided.

It's important to note that this incident occurred shortly before Kannada Rajyotsava, which falls on November 1. Karnataka and Maharashtra are currently embroiled in a legal dispute over the Belagavi border and the status of 840 Marathi-speaking villages. Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde has announced his government's intention to send a representative to Belagavi in support of the Maharashtra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) event observing a 'black day.'