The Maharashtra state assembly was adjourned for the day on Wednesday, following uproar by the Opposition and some members of the ruling coalition over the development backlog of Vidarbha region and the state of irrigation infrastructure in the region.
The opposition grilled the Maharashtra minister for water resources Sunil Tatkare alleging large-scale corruption in the irrigation department in Vidarbha. "The [irrigation] backlog of Vidarbha was Rs15,000 crore in 1994. It has risen over five times to a staggering Rs76,000 crore now. A bankrupt state government does not have the money to remove it," said BJP member Devendra Fadnavis. Seizing the moment, Fadnavis raised the demand for a separate Vidarbha stating that the region would remain backward as long as it remained in Maharashtra.
Earlier, bowing to pressure from an aggressive Opposition, Tatkare announced that all irrigation contracts in Vidarbha that had overshot the tender estimates would be cancelled. He did not specify the projects to be axed or the amounts involved.