A protest by Sakal Maratha seeking inclusion of Karnataka’s Marathas in reservations under Category 2A turned out to be an embarrassment for state Congress working president Satish Jarkiholi. He had to beat a hasty retreat as a section of the protestors turned on him and refused to allow him to address the gathering.
While the Yamkanamaradi MLA had reached the venue with the noble intention of supporting their demands, the Marathas showed that they can not only bear a grudge, but have long memories too.
They have apparently not forgotten that Satish Jarkiholi had recently made a controversial remark against Sambhaji Maharaj, claiming that Sambhaji was caught by the Britishers and killed for trying to poison Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
“He is against the Maratha community. He indulged in defaming the Maratha warriors through his provocative statements without having proper knowledge about history,” said one protestor when asked why he had vociferously prevented the Congress MLA from speaking.
Sensing the situation was getting out of hand, Manjunath Bharati Swamiji of Bengaluru made an attempt to defuse the tensions. However, the protestors remained adamant.
Jarkiholi’s supporters have sought to give a political, rather than regional, colour to the incident. They claimed that the protestors who prevented their leader from delivering his speech were members of the BJP. “They were playing political games to defame Jarkiholi,” they insisted.
If that were indeed the case, one wonders why the protestors allowed Congress MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar, who had accompanied Satish Jarkiholi, to address the gathering!