MUMBAI: Against the backdrop of the ongoing agitation of Patel community in neighbouring Gujarat, Congress in Maharashtra today demanded that the BJP-led government take a decision on the demand of reservations by Marathas, Muslims and Dhangars within 15 days.
Addressing a press conference here, Leader of Opposition in the legislative assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said if the Maharashtra government failed to take a decision, it mayenrage the people.
"It will show that the government is disregarding people's sentiments. If there is any untoward incident, it would be the responsibility of the government," he said.
He accused the government of apathy towards the 'bahujan samaj' (a term used for non-Brahmin classes).
"Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said the first decision his government would take after coming to power would be to grant reservations for the Dhangar community," Vikhe Patil said.
The BJP-Shiv Sena government also didn't handle the issue of reservations for Marathas and Muslims -- announced by the Congress-NCP government -- properly, and the matter was now in the Supreme Court, he said.
Referring to situation in Gujarat where Patels' agitation has turned violent, the Congress leader lamented that army was needed to be called in the Prime Minister's home state.
"There is a similar demand for quota in Maharashtra. The only thing is, we have been very patient," he said.
Vikhe Patil also alleged that the government was dilly-dallying over the purchase of the house in London where Dr B R Ambedkar had lived during his student days.
The government has decided to buy the house and turn it into a memorial.
Hitting out at the government over drought relief measures, the Congress leader said since the Fadnavis government came to power, about 1,600 farmers had committed suicide.
"There is one suicide every three hours. While rejecting our demand for loan waiver, Fadnavis had said crop loan repayments would be rescheduled. However there is no rescheduling anywhere," he alleged.