Protesters demanding Vidarbha statehood, led by former MLC Waman Chatap, have threatened to launch a “violent” agitation from January 1. A sizable congregation hit the street near the Vidhan Bhawan here Monday on the first day of the Winter Session and the leaders announced that they would not hand over any memorandum to those in power but now resort to violent agitation. They also announced a chakka jam (road blockade) in Vidarbha.
Led by Chatap and Ram Nevle under the banner of Vidarbha Rajya Andolan Samiti, the protesters demanded that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis or any minister come forward to accept the memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, after no one came to receive the memorandum, Chatap and Nevle warned that the statehood proponents would now resort to violent agitation by taking to streets.
Chatap said, “Those in power in the state and at the Centre had promised Vidarbha state but are now saying the subject is not on Centre’s agenda. (Nitin) Gadkari had given written assurance to create Vidarbha state but has now become a maunibaba (silent sage). The Vidarbha proponents will now give a fitting reply to this doublespeak of the BJP.”
He added, “This was the last peaceful agitation for the demand. We will unleash agitation on the lines of Telangana and the state government will be solely responsible for any violence that may happen during the agitation.”