Shiv Sena leader Neelam Gorhe has moved a proposal in the legislative council seeking its recommendation for an undivided Maharashtra to the governor. The proposal has been mooted under a rule which is generally used to convey the sense of the house on a larger issue.
Interestingly, the proposal has a provision for a vote in the house, an exercise which will test the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Making matters tough for the BJP, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have also moved similar proposals, which, if approved by the legislative council chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar, will come up for discussion on Tuesday.
With the Sena, Congress and NCP in favour of a united Maharashtra, the BJP will be in a spot.
The BJP will have to either oppose the proposal and spell out its support for statehood to Vidarbha or back the proposal for a united Maharashtra, in which case it stands to face a backlash in its stronghold of Vidarbha.
“Various statements are being made about carving out separate states of Vidarbha, Marathwada and Mumbai. Our party has always opposed such attempts. This proposal is an instrument for the house to come together and reaffirm the commitment and political will for a united Maharashtra,” Gorhe said.
Explaining the strategy, a Sena leader said that the BJP would be caught between the devil and the deep sea.
“By letting former advocate general Shreehari Aney resign, the BJP has indicated that it is not in favour of breaking up Maharashtra just yet. Now is the time when it will have to give a concrete assurance on the issue,” said the Sena leader on condition of anonymity.