A video featuring Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde making apparently flippant remarks on the Maratha quota agitation with deputy chief ministers Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar has gone viral on social media.
The video, shot before the commencement of a press conference after an all-party meeting on Monday on the demand for reservation to Maratha community, shows Shinde asking the other two leaders, “We just need to speak and leave, right?” While Ajit Pawar promptly replies, “Yes, right,” Fadnavis is seen whispering in Shinde’s ear and pointing out that the microphone is on. Pawar is also seen indicating the same.
The flippant remarks have drawn criticism, with some opposition leaders claiming the words imply a lack of seriousness or commitment to addressing the Maratha reservation issue.
Lok Sabha member from Osmanabad Omraje Nimbalkar, who belongs to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) expressed concern over the apparent disinterest of the three leaders on the Maratha reservation issue.
Resilience on Wheels: Student pedals 40km every day on bicycle as a food delivery agent!
Video of woman trying to 'return' cash to Minister Dhariwal goes viral, Modi claims it was to meant buy votes
While people are engaged in peaceful protests and hunger strikes for the cause, the government’s response appears inadequate, he added.
“If shamelessness had a face. This illegitimate government would be it,” Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said on microblogging site X.
Leader of opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Vijay Wadettiwar slammed the Shinde-led government for “failing to address and resolve” critical issues.
“The government just wants to speak and not address issues facing the common man. This is an inefficient government which wants to run away from addressing critical issues,” he said.
NCP working president Supriya Sule said, “Finally, what is in their heart has come to their lips. This shows that the government is insensitive to the issues of people.” Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray slammed the CM for being insensitive on Maratha quota issue. “This is the hallmark of a traitor. If such people betray those who made them big, how can they be trusted,” he asked.
Shinde reacted to the criticism, saying the conversation has been misinterpreted and is being circulated in a wrong manner on social media.
”The government is committed to ensure the quota issue is resolved in the legal framework. An all-party meeting was convened to ascertain everyone’s views,” he said, and termed the viral video as mischief.