Pimpri Chinchwad, 24th January 2024: The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) area is buzzing with excitement as thousands eagerly await the arrival of Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange-Patil. A diverse crowd, including children, youth, and senior citizens, anticipates the activist’s arrival in the area.
Initial information suggested that Jarange-Patil was anticipated to access the PCMC region through the Aundh Bridge, continuing towards Sangvi around noon. However, recent updates suggest that he is yet to reach Pune, approximately 10 kilometres away from Sangvi.
Jarange-Patil is undertaking a foot march, and covering the distance is proving to be a challenging task. Every 100 meters along the route, he is greeted and felicitated by local leaders, politicians, and thousands of members from the Maratha community.
The planned route of Jarange-Patil’s foot march in PCMC includes Sangvi Phata, Jagtap Dairy Chowk, Kalewadi Phata, Dange Chowk, Chinchwade Lawns (Old Jakat Naka), Chaphekar Chowk, Mahavir Chowk (Chinchwad Station Chowk), Akurdi, Nigdi, Bhakti Shakti Samuh Shilp, and will eventually proceed to Talegaon via the old Mumbai-Pune highway.
In anticipation of his arrival, supporters in PCMC have made arrangements for sufficient water and food packets to fuel Jarange-Patil and his army of Maratha brothers during their foot march. The march, which commenced in Antarwali Sarati of Jalna district, is destined for Azad Maidan in Mumbai. A public meeting is scheduled in Lonavala tomorrow before he continues towards Mumbai.
Jarange-Patil, a prominent Maratha reservation activist, has been urging the Maharashtra State Government for a swift decision on the community’s reservation matter as the Mumbai march approaches. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has responded positively, expressing hope for a resolution on the long-pending Maratha reservation issue. The activist, emphasizing the importance of a positive approach, cautions against using arrogant language and frames the foot march as the “final battle” in their pursuit of reservation.
On the second day of the march to Mumbai, Jarange-Patil highlighted the urgency for the government to decide on the Maratha quota, and Chief Minister Shinde assured the commitment to a robust legal case for Maratha reservation. The impending arrival in Mumbai on January 26 is intensifying pressure on the state government for a prompt resolution.
Originally from Beed district and settled in Shahgad, Jalna district, Jarange-Patil has been actively involved in the Maratha community’s reservation movement for 15 years. His prominence increased after a police lathi-charge during a hunger strike on 1st September 2023. Notable political figures like Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray visited him in a show of support. A farmer and Congress member turned founder of Shivba Sanghatana, he has persistently advocated for the Maratha reservation, especially after the Supreme Court quashed it in 2021.
Despite assurances from the government, Jarange-Patil continues his agitation for a favourable government notification. Having undertaken hunger strikes multiple times before, he was persuaded to halt by government promises that have yet to be fulfilled. This has led to his current foot march to Mumbai, scheduled to conclude on Republic Day, January 26. Millions in Maharashtra see Jarange-Patil as a symbol of hope, and their expectations are pinned on him to champion the cause of the Maratha community.