Congress suspends ‘Jan Samvad Yatra’ in Marathwada after police lathi-charge on Maratha quota agitators

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Congress has temporarily suspended its ‘Jan Samvad Yatra’ in all districts of Marathwada scheduled from Sunday following tension in the region after police lathi-charge on Maratha quota agitators in Jalna district.

“New dates will be announced soon,” senior Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan said in a post on X.

Chavan, who was to lead the yatra in Marathwada, said it has been temporarily suspended due to the prevailing situation after the police lathi charge.

On Friday, police baton-charged and lobbed tear gas shells to disperse a violent mob in Antarwali Sarathi on Dhule-Solapur road in Jalna after the protesters refused to let authorities shift a man on hunger strike to hospital during an agitation seeking reservation for the Maratha community.

Around 40 policemen and several protesters were injured and many buses were set on fire during the violence that erupted there. More than 350 people have been booked for alleged involvement in the untoward incidents.

The Maharashtra Congress last month announced its plans to hold the ‘Jan Samvad Yatra’ from September 3 to 12 to reach out to the people and galvanise the cadre as well as to highlight “failures” of the BJP government at the Centre.

State Congress chief Nana Patole had said their party leaders will travel at taluka, village and city levels in all regions during the period to “highlight the failures of the (BJP) government and spread the message of the opposition alliance”.

The yatra in east Vidarbha region is to be led by Patole, while Congress group leader in the state legislative council Satej Patil will participate in the march in Kolhapur (western Maharashtra).

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