After three consecutive days of disruption, the state Legislative Council Wednesday resumed business after Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis placated the Opposition, saying the state government was not considering carving out a separate Vidarbha state. The chief minister also tried to address the conflict between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and ally Shiv Sena over the issue, saying that whatever individual stance the two parties may take, they work together in the state government and will take decisions together.
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had sought the Sena’s support on the demand that the government come out with a resolution on ‘akhanda’ (undivided) Maharashtra. Fadnavis said, “I am working here as the chief minister of ‘akhanda’ Maharashtra. As individual parties, BJP has always supported smaller states and Shiv Sena has supported an undivided Maharashtra.”
“But here, the two parties are working in the government together, so the view is that of the government and not of individual parties. The state government is not considering any split in Maharashtra,” the chief minister added. He also said that creating new states was the prerogative of the Narendra Modi-led Union government and not the state government.
“I want to make the government’s stand clear and I want to request this House to carry on with the usual business,” Fadnavis said. The Opposition, which has a majority in the Legislative Council, had been insisting that the BJP-led state government clarify its position on statehood for Vidarbha, after a BJP Member of Parliament (MP) last week put forward a proposal for discussion on the issue in the Lok Sabha.