Does Meteor 1.3 only support Android SDK 23+?

We tried updating our app to use Meteor 1.3.
We uploaded the built APK to Google Play. Then, for unrelated reasons, we had to roll back to Meteor 1.2. We built again and uploaded to GooglePlay and saw a very ugly error telling us:

"This configuration cannot be published for the following reason(s):
It is forbidden to downgrade devices which previously used M permissions (target SDK 23 and above) to APKs which use old style permissions (target SDK 22 and below). "

The only way I could get the revised version of the app to be accepted, was to change the values for minimumSDK and targetSDK for Android (in mobile-config.js)

Now, that app bundle ID seems locked inside Google Play to only support SDK 23+

Why is this setting in there? What are “M permissions”?
Is this part of the default Cordova 5.1.1?

According to only 10% of all Android users have a phone that supports SDK 23+ (as of June 6th 2016).

Is this really the case? Does Meteor 1.3 exclude 90% of all Android phones? Or is there some setting in our app which has forced these “M permissions”