Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has assured that his government is pursuing the demand that Marathi be granted the status of `classical language’ with the Union government.Mr. Fadnavis inaugurated the annual Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (All India Marathi literary conference) here on Friday night. “The proposal that Marathi be recognised as a classical language is before the Centre,” he said.The proposal was placed before a committee of linguistic experts, which approved it, and now it is under the consideration of the Union Ministry of Culture, the Maharashtra CM informed.He recalled the contribution of late Sayajirao Gaekwad III, ruler of the erstwhile princely state of Baroda (now Vadodara), in the country’s freedom movement. Gaekwad was a visionary, reformist ruler who made primary education compulsory, allowed remarriage of widows, established the world-famous M S University of Baroda, founded Bank of Baroda, and started railway services in his State, Fadnavis said. Gaekwad was also instrumental in organising the Marathi Sahitya Sammelan in Vadodara in 1909, 1921 and 1934, Fadnavis noted.Speaking on the occasion, Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde offered to host the next year’s conference at Bhilar village in Satara district of western Maharashtra.The president of this year’s conference is Marathi writer Sripad Joshi. Gujarati writer and Jnanpith award winner Raghuveer Chaudhary and chancellor of M S University Shubhangini Raje Gaekwad were among those present.