Assembly Elections

Modi remarks puts Vidarbha BJP leaders in a fix

BJP Maharashtra chief Devenda Fadnavis who hails from Vidarbha, has gone on the defensive on Modi’s statement against bifurcation of Maharashtra. File photo: Vivek Bende  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s categorical declaration on Tuesday against division of Maharashtra has put his party leaders particularly in Vidarbha region in the line of fire from rival parties.

>The statement of Prime Minister ruling out division of the state as long as he is in power appears to have caught the BJP leaders in Vibarbhha unawares as they were expecting the party leadership to pitch for separate state to woo the voters in the region.

 Ironically the BJP Maharashtra chief Devenda Fadnavis hails from the region and has gone on the defensive on Mr. Modi’s statement.

 “Prime Minister did not rule out Vidarbha state. He was only countering the propaganda of severing Mumbai from Maharashtra. No one can snatch Mumbai from Maharashtra but he knows our stand on small states. He has always favored it and it will come in front of everyone at an appropriate time,”  Mr.Fadnavis told reporters when his response was sought to PM’s statement in the course of the election campaign.

 Addressing a rally in Sindhkhed town of Maharashtra, the Prime Minister had said, “As long as I am sitting in Delhi, I assure you that no power can divide Maharashtra. Some people are spreading rumors that BJP will sever Mumbai from Maharashtra. It’s a lie. Maharashtra is incomplete without Mumbai.”

 Although, he did not mention Vidarbha in his speech but Mr. Modi’s utterance of “Undivided Maharashtra” has left the party rank and file in the region red faced.

“The way the PM has said that he would not allow division of the state has sent shock-waves in Vidarbha. The BJP has betrayed the people of Vidarbha. It’s time for the people of Vidarbha to teach a lesson to BJP in this election," said Rambhau Nevale, the conveyor of the Vidarbha Rajya Andolan Samiti (VRAS), an umbrella group of 26 pro-Vidarbha organisations. 

 Both the Thackerays were quick to lash out at the BJP over its “unambiguous” stand on the geographical division of Maharashtra.

Addressing a rally in Aurangabad, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said, “In one rally the PM says he won’t allow division of Maharashtra and within 15 minutes Devndra Fadnavis and Nitin Gadkari clarify in Nagpur that PM spoke about Mumbai and that they will carve out a separate Vidarbha state. Before separating Vidarbha from Maharashtra, bring back the Kashmir occupied by Pakistan."

 “Modi says he is for undivided Maharashtra but his party leaders claim they will make a separate Vidarbha state. If you want to have a separate Vidarbha , then won’t you conspire to sever Mumbai from the state as well?” asked MNS chief Raj Thackeray in another election rally.

The VRAS convener also claimed that senior BJP leaders including Nitin Gadkari had promised Vidrabha state during Lok Sabha election campaign.

“The BJP had even passed a resolution for the creation of a separate Vidarbha state in its national executive meet in Bhubaneshwar in 1992. But the PM, who is the tallest leader of the BJP, now says he stands for undivided Maharashtra then it’s clear that they won’t give a separate Vidarbha state. If he was for Vidarbha he should have said so in his rally in Nagpur,” Rambhau told The Hindu accusing the BJP of creating confusion in the minds of electorate.

Mr. Rambhau also claimed that the PM’s statement has given a new impetus to the issue of a separate state and that the BJP would receive a setback in Vidarbha in the assembly election.

Senior Congress leader and former Nagpur MP Vilas Muttemwar also accused Devendra Fandavis and Nitin Gadkari of "betraying" the people of Vidarbha. 

"Mr.Gadkari should now come clear on the issue and how he is going to fight for a separate state otherwise he and Devendra Fadnavis should resign from the BJP," Mr.Muttemwar said in a press conference here. 





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Printable version | May 13, 2021 9:02:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/assembly2014/modi-remarks-puts-vidarbha-bjp-leaders-in-a-fix/article6481527.ece

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