Devendra Fadnavis
Devendra Fadnavis

Fadnavis cancels temple visit amid protest threats

ANI | Updated: Jul 22, 2018 19:40 IST

Fadnavis cancels temple visit amid protest threats .
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], July 22 (ANI): After the Maratha community called for protest seeking reservation in government jobs, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has cancelled his visit to a temple in Pandharpur town .
Fadnavis on Sunday decided that he will not to perform 'mahapuja' of Lord Vitthal at Pandharpur temple .
The Chief Minister said that he cancelled his visit after intelligence inputs that few groups might try to create an unwelcome situation, which could even claim lives .
While talking to the media, Fadnavis said, "In Maharashtra, the tradition of Wari (pilgrims going to Pandharpur) is 700 years old . I have been going there for the past three years . Some organisations have protested against it, their stand is wrong . I have Z-plus protection and no one can touch me but i don't want to cause problem for others . If I am the reason for the threat to the security of 10 lakhs pilgrims, then, I will not go there ."
As part of a long-standing tradition, the chief minister offers prayers at the temple dedicated to Lord Vitthal and Rukmini at Pandharpur in Solapur district, on the occasion of 'Ashadhi Ekadashi' .
Maratha groups have allegedly threatened to disrupt the religious event if their various demands, including reservation in government jobs and education, are not fulfilled by the state government .
Fadnavis made this announcement after meeting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah in Mumbai today .
Fadnavis also underscored that decision in connection with Maratha reservations will be taken by the high court .
"The decision pertaining to Maratha reservations will only be taken by the High Court . We will not harm the future of Maratha youths . But, even then, some parties and groups are trying to incite people to create social divisions," Fadnavis said .
In 2016, the Maratha community had organized a series of silent 'Maratha Kranti Morchas' with demands like quotas and to stop the misuse of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 .
The Maratha- Kunbi caste group is said to account for around 31 .5 per cent of Maharashtra's population . Kunbis, who form majority numbers in Konkan and Vidarbha, are already covered under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category . (ANI)