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Ministers rue neglect of Vidarbha, write to Governor

Fed up with constant injustice, nine ministers from the region jointly seek the Governor's intervention, reports Pradip Kumar Maitra.

india Updated: Nov 24, 2006 16:50 IST

Fed up with the constant injustice and step-motherly treatment to Vidarbha, nine ministers from the backward region had jointly written a letter to Governor SM Krishna seeking his intervention and direction to remove backlogs.

This is for the first time that all the ministers from different parties have come together formally to improve the lot of the Vidarbha region which is not only backward but also sliding because of neglect by the western Maharashtra-dominated leadership in the government. Among the nine ministers who have singed the letter, five are from Congress while remaining ministers from the Nationalist Congress Party. The signatories were: Satish Chaturvedi, Anees Ahmed, Vasant Purke, Sunil Deshmukh, Ranjit Kamble (all Congress), Anil Deshmukh, Manohar Naik, Dharambaba Atram and Rajendra Singne.

While showing a unity on the issue of development of Vidarbha, all the ministers have decided that they would fight jointly for securing maximum benefit to neutralize backlog in the region.

Confirming the news, the Maharashtra minister for Road Development Corporation, Anil Deshmukh said that the joint letter was sent to the Governor a few months back. "To discharge the constitutional responsibility given by the Presidential order, dated March 9, 1994, under article 371 (2) of the Constitution of India, we humbly request for early action in the matter," the ministers have urged the state Governor, Krishna. This is all set to cause an embarrassment to Democratic Front government as these ministers have practically revolt on the issue of constant injustice to the backward region.

Another signatory of the letter, the minister of state for Transport, Dharambaba Atram informed that the letter has also demanded to immediately implement the recommendations of Fact-Finding Committee of the Union Planning Commission that visited the region to know the reasons for on-going farmers' suicide. The four-page letter has narrated step-motherly treatment meted out to Vidarbha and blatant violation of constitutionally binding directives issued by the Governor from time to time by the present government.

Irrigation is the biggest problem in the region, especially in comparison to other parts of Maharashtra. The backlog in the sector was put at Rs 527.31 crore in 1982 by Dr VN Dandekar panel, and it grew to Rs 4,083 crore in 1994. Now the figure has touched over Rs 10,000-crore.

First Published: Nov 24, 2006 16:50 IST