Maratha quota agitators try to block BJP candidate Pankaja Munde`s convoy

A group of Maratha quota agitators on Wednesday tried to block the convoy of BJP`s Beed Lok Sabha candidate Pankaj Munde. The police intervened and dispersed the crowd. The process to register a case against the agitators was underway, a senior police official said, reported PTI.

The incident took place when Munde was on her way to attend a religious event at Kej in Maharashtra`s Beed district. The agitators gave slogans `Ek Maratha, Lakh Maratha`, showed videos of the protest which went viral on social media.

As per PTI report, “They were Maratha quota agitators who tried to stop the convoy of Pankaja Munde. She has enough security. The people were moved out of the way and the convoy was sent further as per the scheduled programme,” the police official said. 

Speaking with the media, Munde said, “Earlier the Maratha protestors have shown her black handkerchiefs. But this time the body language of the agitators was different. I have to find out whether they were really Maratha quota protestors,” she said.

Pankaja, who is also the general secretary of the BJP said she is not sure if the protestors were from Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange supporters, and case should not be registered. 

For the unversed, Jarange has been demanding reservation for the Kunbi Maratha community in the state under Other Backward Class (OBC category) for education and government jobs. However, the Eknath Shinde-led government has promised that the existing OBC reservation would not be affected while granting reservation for Marathas. 

Pankaja, daughter of veteran BJP leader, late Gopinath Munde has support of the OBC community. She had earlier said that it is unfortunate if her caste is brought up during campaigning. “I never saw the caste of people while doing their work. I gave crores in funds to even those villages where voting for me was negligible. I just see my opponent as my competitor from another party,” Munde said. 

Munde, who was a minister in the previous Devendra Fadnavis government, lost from Parli in the 2019 Assembly polls to her cousin and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde. The BJP has nominated her from the Beed Lok Sabha seat, replacing the sitting MP and her sister Pritam Munde. 

(With PTI inputs)

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