Shrihari Aney, who resigned as advocate general of Maharashtra for publicly voicing his views on separate statehood for Vidarbha and Marathwada earlier this week, said on Saturday he and his supporters would meet smaller parties like the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi to lobby for separate statehood.
Aney and all pro-Vidarbha organisations will stage a day-long dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on March 31. “We are planning to meet Mayawati, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on the issue as mainstream parties like the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress are not serious about it,” he said.
“Even though the BJP favours a separate Vidarbha, I doubt the party will take any positive steps in this direction. The BJP was voted to power riding on the seats it won in Vidarbha and had promised a separate state,” he said.
Aney was given a rousing welcome upon his arrival in Nagpur. After garlanding the statue of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar at Samvidhan Chowk, he addressed a gathering.
He said there was no change in the BJP-led state government’s attitude to alleviate Vidarbha from the throes of agonising backwardness and the flow of development
was still directed towards western Maharashtra and Mumbai.
“I feel happy after returning to Vidarbha soil. The happiness cannot be described in words. We will be deliberating as well as sensing the pulse of people over the issue of an independent Vidarbha in the coming days,” Aney said.
PRESS CONFERENCE DISRUPTED
The Swabhiman Sanghatana led by Congress MLA Nitesh Rane on Saturday tried to disrupt Aney’s “Meet the Press” programme at Nagpur shouting slogans against the former AG. They were removed by the security personnel. Rane had asked for Aney’s head on Twitter for advocating separate Marathwada along with Vidarbha.