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Millions of Marathas march to Mumbai for quotas, to reach capital in night

Raising slogans of ‘Ek Maratha, Lakh Maratha’, millions of Marathas determinedly and menacingly marched from Lonavala towards Mumbai, via the Old Mumbai Pune Highway, here on Thursday morning.

Heeding the Pune Police request, Shivba Sanghatana leader Manoj Jarange-Patil and other organisers changed the route from the original planned Mumbai Pune Expressway.

The massive procession, trailing for several kms, is expected to touch the Mumbai boundary at Vashi (Navi Mumbai) by Thursday evening, besides Marathas marching from other routes.

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Early on Friday morning (January 26 — Republic Day), lakhs of Marathas will start walking into Mumbai from various entry points, with the organisers claiming “three-crore community people have responded to the march call” and are trooping here from all over the state.

Jarange-Patil has been walking most of the route since he started from his Antaravali-Sarate village in Jalna on January 20, intending to storm and lay siege to the country’s commercial capital on R-Day.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Minister Deepak Kesarkar and other leaders have reiterated their appeal to the Marathas to call off their long march to Mumbai as the government is positive and committed to giving them quotas, and it would be announced at a Special Session of Legislature in February.

However, Jarange-Patil has made it clear that he had given the government 7 months’ time and was in no mood to give any further extensions, and vowed that the Marathas would not leave Mumbai till the quotas are granted.

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