AURANGABAD: With the Aurangabad district emerging as the epicentre of Marathas' agitation for reservation after the death of two protesters, a Shiv Sena MLC joined the stir, demanding an ordinance for the quota and threatening to resign by 4 pm today if no decision was taken on the issue forthwith.
Sena MLC Harshwardhan Jadhav, who represents the Kannad constituency in Aurangabad in the state's in Marathwada region, staged a protest today outside the collector's office and demanded that the government bring an ordinance to provide reservation to the community.
"I have urged the government to bring an ordinance and call a special session of the state legislature to discuss the issue and give reservation to the community," he told reporters here.
Both Maharashtra and the Centre are ruled by the same party (BJP), so there will no problem in getting clearance for the ordinance, he said.
"If no decision is taken in this connection till 4 pm today, I will resign as the member of the Legislative Council," he said.
Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire and Congress MLC Subhash Jhambad were manhandled yesterday during the last rites of one of the protesters, Kakasaheb Shinde (27).
Shinde had jumped to death from a bridge over the Godavari river in Aurangabad on Monday.
Another protester, Jagannath Sonawane, 55, consumed a poisonous substance yesterday during the agitation.
He died at the Government Medical College and Hospital here this morning.
Besides, protester Jayendra Dwarkadas Sonawane (28), who jumped from the bridge on river Venganga on Nashik-Aurangabad road yesterday, was undergoing treatment in a hospital.
Another agitator, Amol Jagtap (26), from Latur district had set himself ablaze but was over-powered by the police.
He was undergoing treatment at a government hospital in Latur for his injuries.
Amid the protests, Shyam Lakhan Kadgaonkar, a head constable from Osmanabad, died yesterday near Shinde's funeral venue.
"The postmortem report is awaited. Some injury marks were seen on his hands and legs," a police official had earlier said, adding another constable got injured there in stone-pelting.
Protesters had yesterday torched at fire brigade van and a state transport (ST) bus during the agitation.
Internet services were also suspended in rural areas of Aurangabad district yesterday to prevent any untoward incident.
As the stir for reservation in jobs and education intensified, the Maratha Kranti Morcha, which is spearheading the agitation, took its battle to Mumbai today where it has called for a shutdown.
Quotas for Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30 per cent of the state's population, has been a hugely contentious issue.