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1-min read

Maratha Kranti Thok Morcha to Field Candidates in Maharashtra Assembly Elections

Though it is too premature to predict the impact of this decision, it might have a potential to divide the politically and socially dominant Maratha vote.

Vinaya Deshpande | CNN-News18@vinivdvc

Updated:July 23, 2019, 8:17 PM IST
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Maratha Kranti Thok Morcha to Field Candidates in Maharashtra Assembly Elections
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Mumbai: The Maratha Kranti Thok Morcha announced on Tuesday that it would contest the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections in Maharashtra from all 288 seats. It has already identified 25-30 constituencies from where it would field candidates. The decision has been taken despite clearance of reservation for Marathas in the state.

Though it is too premature to predict the impact of this decision, it might have a potential to divide the politically and socially dominant Maratha vote.

Considering that the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have Maratha leadership, the decision of the morcha to fight the elections can dent the vote base of these parties. The morcha is yet to announce if it would join hands with any party.

The morcha, an umbrella group of several small Maratha groups, has been instrumental in organising agitations after the Kopardi gang rape incident triggered a massive outrage in the state.

This is the first time that the outfit has decided to take part in elections. During the recently held Lok Sabha elections, five-six candidates had fielded themselves individually under the Maratha banner, but the impact was negligible.

“We are 45 per cent of the population. This is the first time we have decided to contest the elections. None of us from the committee will become candidates. We will field individuals chosen by the community,” Abasaheb Patil of the morcha told News18.

Asked why the decision was taken even after the state government granted reservation to the community, Patil said there were other issues that have been pending for long.

“Till now, leaders got elected on the Maratha card, calling themselves Maratha leaders. But they have done nothing for the community. It is time to teach them a lesson,” said Sunil Nagne, a member of the outfit.

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| Edited by: Sohini Goswami
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