The government has rejected the demand for statehood for Vidarbha.
There was a debate on Vidarbha in the legislative Assembly on Monday. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator, Devendra Fadnavis, initiated it.
Members of Legislative Assembly, especially from the BJP, alleged that government apathy led the region to a grave agrarian crisis that has seen thousands of farmers’ suicides in the past decade. They demanded that the region be given the status of a state to ensure better administration.
Revenue Minister, Narayan Rane, said the state “will not entertain this demand”. “More than 100 people sacrificed their lives for achieving a unified Maharashtra,” Rane said. “It is unethical to demand an independent state when Maharashtra is celebrating its 50th year.”
Rane told the House about various central and state schemes implemented in Vidarbha. “We have been doing our best to give this region everything. We have asked the Centre for a Rs 7,264-crore package,” he said.
This package will be in addition to the earlier packages worth more than Rs 9,000 crore.
Rane said government efforts had almost doubled up per capita income in the suicide-affected districts. “The BJP is demanding independent state for its political gains,” he said.
Fadnavis said statehood for Vidarbha was not an emotional issue. “The neglect has stalled our economic progress,” Fadnavis said. “Vidarbha generates three-fourths of the state’s total demand, but farmers in the region are not provided with agriculture pumps and power.”