Maharashtra minister Nitin Rauth as urged Congress Manifesto Committee to include the separate Vidarbha promise in its election manifesto ahead of the next month's state assembly elections.
Raut, minister for EGS and water conservation, who prepared the 'Vidarbha Development Manifesto', has submitted it to the the party's manifesto panel headed by former Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.
"The separate Vidarbha demand will assume significance in the upcoming Assembly elections. If Congress fails to pass the Vidarbha development agenda, the party would meet the same fate as in Lok Sabha elections," Raut warned on Sunday.
The minister, who was recently made the Guardian minister of Nagpur, replacing social justice minister Shivajirao Moghe, had also raised the issue of Vidarbha statehood before chief minister Prithviraj Chavan at a public meeting.
According to him, the development of the region is not possible if it continues to stay in Maharashtra.
The Vidarbha development manifesto prepared by Raut comprises a five-point programme — industrialisation through separate policy for Vidarbha (with less costly land and power at lower prices as incentives for investment), a separate service commission, development of Nagpur as an IT hub, removal of developmental backlog and tourism promotion.
Raut said as per CAG reports of 2012-13, out of the total investment that the state has attracted, only 6% came to Vidarbha.
The minister has sought party's commitment to create a separate Vidarbha public service commission "to give justice" to the youths of the region.
Raut's manifesto says that Congress should fully back any resolution moved by the BJP government at the Centre for the creation of separate Vidarbha state.