Maharashtra: House of NCP MLA torched amid protest for Maratha quota demand

Representational image: Manorama Online/ freepik

Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar: The residence of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Prakash Solanke in Maharashtra's Beed district was set on fire and stones were hurled at it on Monday amid fresh violence over the demand for Maratha quota, police said.

A group of people also set ablaze a car parked at the residence of Solanke located in Majalgaon after an audio clip of the MLA in which he purportedly spoke about the Maratha quota agitation and made a veiled comment on the fasting quota activist Manoj Jarange went viral.

It is not clear whether the Majalgaon MLA, who belongs to the NCP faction led by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, was present inside the residence at the time of the incident which occurred at around 11 AM.

"The incident occurred after an audio clip of MLA Solanke about the Maratha reservation issue went viral. A bandh was called locally. The house of the MLA and a car were torched by some people and stones were also hurled," the official told PTI.

In the audio clip, Solanke was purportedly heard saying that "the issue (the demand for reservation and the ultimatum of 40 days given to the government for its implementation by October 24) has become a child's game.

"The person, who has not even contested a gram panchayat election, has become a smart person today," he said in an apparent dig at Jarange.

Members of the Maratha community have been staging protests seeking reservation in government jobs and education under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category.

The agitation intensified after Jarange sat on an indefinite fast from October 25 at Antarwali Sarati village in Jalna district as part of the second phase of the protest

Solanke told a news channel that he was in Majalgaon when the incident occurred.

"Agitators surrounded my residence from all sides and nobody was in the mood to listen. Stones were thrown at my house and vehicles were also set on fire. I stand with the demand for the Maratha reservation. I have won the elections four times with the help of the Maratha community and I am a Maratha MLA," he said.

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