MUMBAI: The umbrella bodies leading the Maratha stir on Sunday gave a call for a statewide shutdown on August 9, and said that the agitation would be revived after August 1.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis held discussions with a Maratha delegation under the leadership of former chief minister Narayan Rane and repeatedly appealed to the agitators to come forward for talks. He reiterated his statement regarding withdrawing cases related to small offences registered against Maratha agitators and added that the government was taking all possible steps to ensure speedy resolution of the issue.
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, meanwhile, has called a meeting of all legislators of the party on Monday to discuss the party's stand on the Maratha quota issue.
'Sakal Maratha Samaj' and the 'Maratha Kranti Morcha coordination committee' the two bodies spearheading the quota stir, held a meeting at Latur on Sunday. During the meeting they warned community leaders against holding talks with the government.
"Discussions with various groups being held by the government are not binding on the community and there won't be any talks with the government henceforth," they said.
They announced that all schools, colleges, commercial establishments and government offices across the state would be forced to close on August 9. The agitation, which has been suspended at several places for the past couple of days, would be revived post August 1, they added.
Former Chief Minister Narayan Rane along with his MLA son Nitesh and some other Maratha leaders held talks with CM Fadnavis at the state guest house Sahyadri here. He too appealed the Maratha community leaders to come forward for talks with government.
Meanwhile, all legislators of the Shiv Sena would meet together in Mumbai to decide party's stand on Maratha quota. Two years back, when the Maratha stir was on the peak the Shiv Sena had criticised it in the party mouthpiece Saamana and had to face the wrath of the agitators. Also, Shiv Sena had always condemned any kind of reservations. On this backdrop what stand does the party take in tomorrow's meeting is being keenly watched.