The movement for statehood

  • PTI
  • |
  • Updated: Oct 16, 2003 19:27 IST

The demand for a separate Chhattisgarh state was first raised in the early twenties. Similar demands kept cropping up at regular intervals; however, a well-organised movement was never launched.  Several efforts were made by individuals and organisations towards highlighting the Chhattisgarh identity and expressing the sense of perceived marginalisation. There were certain protests with mass support but these were limited and sporadic. There were several all-party platforms formed and they usually resolved around petitions, public meetings, seminars, rallies and bandhs.

A demand for separate Chhattisgarh was raised in 1924 by the Raipur Congress unit, and later on also discussed in the Annual Session of the Indian Congress at Tripuri. A discussion also took place of forming a Regional Congress organisation for Chhattisgarh. Sporadic attempts to give a call for a separate state for Chhattisgarh continued in the years immediately following Independence. In 1955, a demand for a separate state was raised in the Nagpur assembly of the then state of Madhya Bharat.

When the State Reorganisation Commission was set up in 1954, the demand for a separate Chhattisgarh was put forward to it, through this was not accepted. It was reported that the State Reorganisation Commission rejected the demand for Chhattisgarh on the grounds that the prosperity of Chhattisgarh would compensate for the poverty of other regions of Madhya Pradesh.

The eighties were a comparatively quiet phase in the demand for Chhattisgarh. The 1990's saw more activity for a demand for the new state, such as formation of a state wide political forum, especially the Chhattisgarh Rajya Nirman Manch. The Late Chadulal Chadrakar led this forum, several successful region-wide Bandhs and rallies were organised under the banner of the forum all of which were supported by major political parties including the Congress and the BJP. The rallies of the all party forum were attended by leaders from most political parties.

(Courtsey: Chhattisgarh Govt)


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