TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samiti) MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha has come out in support of the statehood demand for the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, citing its cultural and geographical differences with rest of the state. “Certainly there is a case for separate Vidarbha because it is recommended by first SRC (State Re-organisation Committee) if I am not wrong, based on cultural identity and based on different geography,” she said.
“Since we (Telangana Rashtra Samiti, which was in the forefront of movement for separate statehood for Telangana) come from that background, we understand the pain of those people and we will certainly support separate statehood movement,” Kavitha told PTI in Hyderabad. TRS would certainly support separate statehood in cases recommended by SRC, Kavitha, the Nizamabad MP and daughter of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, said.
“There are certain other statehood movements in the case of states where international border is there, that is a different case. But in mainland India, if there is a demand for separate state, people are culturally different from rest of the state, I think it should be considered positively. At the end of the day this is a democracy and people’s will should prevail, that’s what I feel,” she said.
Kavitha said “backwardness” of the region and less availability of water there compared to rest of Maharashtra and “continuous movement that is happening in Vidarbha for a long time” are the things that should be considered. She quoted some people telling her that dialect-wise there is difference between Vidarbha Marathi and the one spoken in rest of the state, as also cultural aspects but hastened to add that she is not very sure about it.
Kavitha also noted that “not many” political parties within Maharashtra are supporting the statehood demand. Activists of Raj Thackeray-led MNS have strongly opposed any division of Maharashtra and allegedly disrupted a press conference on September 13 called by “Vidarbha Rajya Andolan Samiti” in Mumbai seeking statehood for Vidarbha region. The Samiti is among a handful of organisations leading a movement for decades demanding statehood for Vidarbha, a cotton-rich region in eastern Maharashtra.