Maratha quota stir: Shiv Sena claims Fadnavis maybe removed, BJP denies (Lead)
Mumbai : As the three-day violent agitation by quota-seeking Marathas ended on Wednesday, ruling ally Shiv Sena claimed that the BJP central leadership was contemplating replacing Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, but the BJP dismissed it as "rumour-mongering".
"Talk of changing the CM is going on within the BJP. The present situation is quite worrying as the state government has failed to tackle it.. The government has disappeared from the political scene," he claimed.
Raut called upon the government to immediately initiate a dialogue with the Marathas and not shirk the issue saying its 'sub-judice' as successive governments have not resolved it since years.
However, a battery of BJP leaders dismissed Raut's contentions with party spokesperson Madhav Bhandari even accusing the Sena MP of indulging in "rumour-mongering".
"There are no issues in the party.. the government and the CM are stable and doing a good job," said Bhandari, adding that when BJP was in opposition it had joined the Maratha agitations for reservations in education and government jobs.
Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil also rubbished Raut's statement, asking who would remove a Chief Minister who works till 3 a.m., and said the government has already done the best possible to solve the issue.
Meanwhile Mumbai Congress President Sanjay Nirupam attacked Fadnavis' for "total failure" in handling the Maratha agitations.
Despite over 58 processions, nothing was done to resolve the Maratha reservations demands leading to the present crises, he said.
In the midst of the agitation on Wednesday, the Sena received a blow when its legislator from Kannad in Aurangabad Harshwardhan Jadhav suddenly resigned demanding Maratha quotas.
Similarly, Nationalist Congress Party MLA from Vaijapur Bhausaheb Patil also sprang a surprise by quitting his assembly seat demanding reservations quota and emailed his resignation to Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade today.
During the agitatation in Aurangabad on Tuesday, Jadhav had vowed that if the state government failed to announced quotas for Marathas within 24 hours, he would quit his assembly seat.