Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar: Rejecting the appeal made by leaders at an all-party meeting to withdraw his ongoing hunger strike for Maratha reservation, activist Manoj Jarange on Wednesday evening announced that he would not be taking even water now.
The Maharashtra government should state when it would grant reservation to the Maratha community, he said at his native village Antarwali Sarati in Jalna district where he launched his indefinite fast on October 25.
"People are dying here and why are meetings being held every day....I am stopping water intake now. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Ministers Ajit Pawar and Devendra Fadnavis, you people have to face the consequences of this later. The agitation will continue peacefully but it seems that the government has decided to vitiate the atmosphere," he said.
"The government should tell us why it needs time and when it is going to give reservation to the Maratha community. Then we will talk to the community. There is proof available (to support the community's claim for quota) but still the government is deliberately not giving us reservation. It has given reservation to other castes without proof in the past," Jarange added.
Registration of criminal cases against quota activists will not dampen the agitation, he said, and appealed lawyers to help those who are facing cases.
"If the government is sensible, it should revoke these cases because this is creating anger in the Maratha community," he added.
MLA Bachchu Kadu met Jarange during the day.
Earlier in the day, after the all-party meeting chaired by Shinde in Mumbai passed a resolution appealing him to call off his fast, and the chief minister said the government needed time for legal modalities to implement the reservation, Jarange had sought to know how much time the government wanted.