Even as the Congress is trying to extricate itself from the Andhra Pradesh bifurcation tangle, few Vidarbha protagonists is trying to mount pressure on the Centre for creating a separate state out of Maharashtra.
While a Joint Action Committee (JAC) of activists on Thursday launched a “mock Assembly session of Vidarbha”, youth leader Ashish Deshmukh, son of former state minister and Congress leader Ranjeet Deshmukh, will be sitting on indefinite hunger strike from Friday for the cause.
In the two-day-long mock Session, a sitting MLA Anil Bonde, besides five former legislators namely Wamanrao Chatap, Saroj Kashikar, Ramesh Gajbe, Rajendra Patni and Bhola Badhel, are participating.
Mr. Deshmukh, also the founder of Youth for Vidarbha State, said the process for the creation of Telangana and that of Vidarbha be clubbed.
“The first States Reorganisation Commission headed by Justice Fazal Ali had recommended creation of Vidarbha as well as Telangana in 1956. So, ideally creation of both states should be considered simultaneously,” he said.
His father Ranjit Deshmukh is former president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee.
Mr. Deshmukh said, Telugu leader Potti Sri Ramulu, who died while on fast in 1952 for the creation of Telugu-speaking state was the first “martyr” to lay down his life for creation of a separate state.
“This is a now or never situation for creating separate Vidarbha state,” he said.
Mr. Deshmukh said he had met BJP state unit chief Devendra Fadnavis, local Congress MP Vilas Muttemwar, RPI leader Jogendra Kawade to garner support for the separate state.