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Manoj Jarange Buckles After Eknath Shinde’s Warning, Ends Fast

Maratha reservation agitation’s icon Manoj Jarange Patil has abandoned his audacious plan to lead a march to the Mumbai residence of deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis to press his demand. Already roasted by his former associates, chief minister Eknath Shinde’s stern warning to Jarange and his followers that they will face stringent action if they took law in their hand is believed to have resulted in his withdrawal of the march. Even Opposition parties, too, have indirectly expressed unhappiness over Jarange’s impossible demands, like asking the government to take and announce a decision within the next few hours. Now, his associate for 18 years, Baburao Walekar has charged that Jarange is hungry for publicity and had instigated his followers in the past to indulge in violence though keeping himself away from such acts. Walekar is the third leader to come out in the open against Jarange. The first was Abhay Baraskar, who is a noted Keertan exponent. He was followed by Sangeeta Wankhede, who became Jarange’s follower after he launched his agitation. She has alleged that Jarange was taking erratic decisions at the behest of a top NCP giant. Interestingly, Fadnavis had stated a day earlier that Jarange’s script resembled the statements of Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray. On Monday (Feb 26), Jarange has announced the end of his indefinite fast. The battle over Maratha reservations is expected to enter the precincts of judiciary soon.