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Aney resigns over Marathwada row, RSS still wants 4 new states

Maharashtra’s Advocate General Shreehari Aney on Tuesday submitted his resignation to Governor C Vidyasagar Rao, two days after he demanded separate statehood for Marathwada. His demands had evoked a sharp rebuke from the opposition as well as BJP ally, the Shiv Sena.

“Shooting the messenger does not solve the problem,” Mr Aney wrote on his Facebook page. “In the present disruption of the legislature, I see a clear pattern. Since I shall not stop from voicing my demand for Vidarbha’s statehood, the legislators will not stop from using it as a ready excuse to stall the working of the house; one of us has to step back.”

Mr Aney said the Advocate General’s prime function is to protect the interest of the people. “And that the legislature must function if the interest of the people is to be protected, my final act as Advocate General which would be most in the interest of the people of the state was to resign from the post.”

Following his resignation, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis declared in the Assembly that the Cabinet will recommend the Governor to accept the resignation if the advice is sought. Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut slammed the BJP over attempts to save Mr Aney. “It is unfortunate that efforts were made to save him. He has not given his resignation, but has been fired. Appointing him was treason with Maharashtra and saving him is no less than sedition.”

Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil demanded that Mr Aney apologised to the house for speaking against the state.

However, Mr Aney’s episode turned out to be the least of the State government’s worries on Tuesday. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue MG Vaidya suggested carving four states out of Maharashtra: Vidarbha, Devgiri (Marathwada-Khandesh), Konkan and Western Maharashtra. Mr Vaidya went on to say that instead of these states being formed via agitations, a commission should be appointed which will carve out the four states, each with population no more than three crore.

BJP Minister Eknath Khadse clarified that the State government has no such plan and it is the personal opinion of Mr Vaidya. But, the Shiv Sena attacked the RSS over its demand. “We have recently learned that the RSS has changed from half-pant to full pant. We request them not to immediately tear it into four pieces,” said Sena MP Sanjay Raut.

Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena warned that those who speak about breaking Maharashtra will be beaten up. “The RSS has always been in favour of small states. The BJP is taking it forward. Someone else has spoken through Mr Aney and it is the old trick of the RSS in which they have succeeded.”

Mr Thackeray said the RSS-BJP wants to break the state into small fractions. “Now you will see small BJP leaders making such demands. We will not let that happen at any cost.”

Nationalist Congress Party leader Jayant Patil said it’s a dream of the BJP and the RSS to break Maharashtra into pieces. “After dividing Maharashtra into four pieces, the BJP wants to declare Mumbai as a union territory. This is the RSS conspiracy to cut the state into pieces and also to break the unity of Marathi-speaking community.”

He said the government is busy in such activities instead of solving real issues. “While the CM expressed unhappiness over the statements about separate Marathwada, he has not explained his stand about separate statehood for Vidarbha. It gives rise to suspicion that the CM is in favour of this demand.”

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 3:43:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/aney-resigns-over-marathwada-row-rss-still-wants-4-new-states/article8387710.ece

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