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Vidarbha leaders revive demands for statehood

Bolstered by TRS leader's poll victory, they are increasing pressure on the M'rashtra Govt, reports Pradip Kumar Maitra.

india Updated: Dec 11, 2006 11:37 IST

Bolstered by the win of Telangana Rajya Samiti leader, K Chandrashekhar Rao, Vidarbha leaders have again begun demanding a separate statehood, at a meeting, held at Amravati, some 150 kms from Nagpur on Sunday.

The meeting was attended by the senior NCP leader and Rajya Sabha member, Datta Meghe, the former PCC chief, Ranjit Deshmukh and former Lok Sabha member, Banwarilal Purohit among others.

Pointing the pathetic conditions of farmers, particularly the cotton growers in the region, the senior NCP leader Datta Meghe said that farmers of the region were the victims of mounting debts and now the police bullets.

He alleged that innocent cotton growers were targeted by the police near Wani in neighbouring Yavatmal district when they had come there from far off places just to sell out their raw cotton.

One young farmer was killed in the police firing on Friday, he said and rued how many years the farmers from the region would suffer such injustice from the state machinery.

If this is the attitude of the government, dominated by the politicians of western Maharashtra, Vidarbha should be carved out from the Maharashtra, to decide its own fate.

He asked the government why the rate of the raw cotton was slashed down from Rs 2,500 to 1,600 per quintal this year. Moreover, he lashed out at the government for implementing the economic packages of the state and union government only in six districts while farmers were committing suicide in all the 11 districts in the region because of crippling of debts and failure of crops.

The former Lok Sabha member and known protagonist of separate Vidarbha, Banwarilal Purohit said there was no alternative, but a separate Vidarbha for the overall developments of the backward region.

Listing out the injustices meted out to the backward region, he said that irrigation is a major problem for the region. The former prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation stone of Goshikhurd Irrigation dam on Wainganga river in Bhandara district in 1985.

However, the works of the project is yet to be started, he pointed out and justified his demand for a separate state. He appealed to all to fight in a common platform for the cause on the line of Chandrashekhar Rao of TRS.

“People of the region should extend all necessary helps to the protagonists of separate Vidarbha as people of Telangana did with Chandrashekhar Rao in the recent by-elections of Lok Sabha,” he further pointed out.

The Vidarbha Vikas Parishad invited Rao to attend its day-long meeting. But the TRS leader could not attend it due to his pre-scheduled programme at Delhi. However, he extended his full support to the Parishad for its cause of Vidarbha.

The Sena leader and Lok Sabha member from Amravati, Anant Gude said that if his leader, Balasaheb Thackeray supports the separate Vidarbha state, he is ready to fight for the cause. The Sena supremo, Thackeray is against of a separate Vidarbha state.

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First Published: Dec 11, 2006 11:37 IST