Several organisations fighting for a separate Vidarbha called on the legislators from the region and requested them to show solidarity on the issue of Statehood in the Assembly and oppose any resolution on united Maharashtra. Vidarbha Rajya Sanghatana and Vidarbha Connect, the two non-political groups on the forefront of agitation for a separate Vidarbha state, welcomed the move by a BJP Member of Parliament to move a private member Bill in the Lok Sabha seeking statehood for the region in eastern Maharashtra.
The Bill was moved a week ago by Nana Patole, the MP from Bhandara-Gondia in Vidarbha. The BJP MP deserves compliments for his commitment to the statehood cause, said the two groups. “We welcome the move by Patole, who ignored opposition from a section of political parties and went ahead with his Bill,” President of Sanghatana Advocate Mukesh Samarth and Sandesh Singalkar of Vidarbha Connect told reporters here. Legislators from Vidarbha should show solidarity on the issue of Statehood in the Assembly and oppose any resolution on united Maharashtra, they said.
During a debate in the Assembly recently, Shiv Sena leader and Transport Minister Diwakar Raote virtually rushed towards BJP legislators from the region, which is unfortunate, they said. Sena, which is vehemently opposed to any division of Maharashtra, should show some restrain on the emotive issue, Samarth said.
The groups also welcomed the open defiance by top Congress leaders from Vidarbha – Vilas Muttemwar, Naresh Pugalia, Shivajirao Moghe, Satish Chaturvedi and Nitin Raut -who have asked their counterparts from Western Maharashtra not to deny the legitimate demands of Vidarbha people. Samarth criticised BJP General Secretary Muralidhar Rao for his reported remark that the 2014 election mandate in Maharashtra was not for creation of Vidarbha State.
Rao’s remark was uncalled for and reflects his ignorance, he said. BJP, which favours statehood to the region, won 44 out of 62 Assembly seats from Vidarbha in the 2014 polls.