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Maharashtra leaders appeal for peace
November 30, 2006 21:34 IST
Political parties in Maharashtra across the divide on Thursday appealed for peace as violent protests over the alleged descration of an Ambedkar statue in Kanpur continued for the second day in the state.
"What happened in Kanpur is condemnable. I can understand the flared-up sentiments of Dalits. But the need is for maintaining peace and calm instead of resorting to violence," Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said from Singapore where he is on a three-day visit.
Maharashtra has a progressive image, Deshmukh said adding, the media and TV news channels should exercise restraint.
Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil also asked people in the state to maintain calm.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former deputy chief minister Gopinath Munde and Shiv Sena executive president Udhav Thackeray jointly made a fervent appeal to agitating people to maintain peace and harmony.
"We ask the peace-loving citizens of Maharashtra not to disturb the peaceful atmosphere and communal harmony in the state by resorting to violent protests," the leaders told a press conference in Nagpur.
The saffron leaders, in Nagpur on a day's visit to Vidarbha region for electioneering for Chimur (Chandrapur district) and Daryapur (Amravati) by-elections, attributed the violence to the "total failure" of the state machinery.
"What was the home department doing? I am at a loss to understand," Munde, who has also held the home portfolio during BJP-Shiv Sena rule in the state, said.