No talk of replacing Fadnavis, says Gadkari

Fadnavis has done a very good work in areas of infrastructure, irrigation, investment and employment generation, Gadkari added

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Nitin Gadkari

Nagpur: Union minister and senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari today ruled out any change of guard in Maharashtra amid the Maratha community’s ongoing agitation for reservation.

“People should have patience as Chief Minister (Devendra) Fadnavis is sensitive about the issue of reservation and the government will resolve all the issues,” the road transport and highways minister said here.

Gadkari was answering a reporter’s question about a speculation about Fadnavis’s fate.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had claimed two days back that there was talk within the BJP that Fadnavis should be replaced in view of the Maratha agitation.

“I do not know why there is a discussion in the media about the removal of Fadnavis. The entire party stands with Fadnavis and there is no talk in the party about changing the leadership in Maharashtra,” Gadkari asserted.

“Some people are trying to infuse venom of casteism and communalism in society. I firmly believe that all the communities including the Marathas will get justice under Fadnavis’s leadership,” the senior BJP leader from Maharashtra said.

Fadnavis has done a very good work in areas of infrastructure, irrigation, investment, and employment generation, Gadkari added.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has called an all-party meeting on Saturday.  Earlier this week, Maharashtra witnessed wide-scale violence during bandh (shutdown) called by Maratha groups who are demanding 16% reservation in government jobs and education.

The wave of protests by Maratha groups has put the Fadnavis government in a tight spot. While the BJP has been stressing that the state government is committed to honouring the demands of the Maratha community, the Opposition has accused CM Fadnavis doing nothing and letting the situation go out of control.

The Marathas, a politically influential community that constitutes around 30% of the state’s population, have been demanding a 16% reservation. The community has been taking out protest marches across the state to highlight their demands, prominent among them being that of reservation.