Mumbai/Nagpur: NCP leader Ajit Pawar demanded that the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should clarify his stand over the demand of separate Vidarbha statehood. While his fellow MLA Jayant Patil later said that the legislators who are backing the demand for separate Vidarbha should first resign from the House and then contest fresh poll on the plank. “Then the BJP will come to know whom the people of Maharashtra support,” Patil said.
The state legislative assembly was adjourned on Friday over the issue of statehood for Vidarbha. While Shiv Sena opposed the idea of statehood to Vidarbha calling it an insult to the 105 martyrs who laid their lives for unified Maharahstra, opposition parties Congress and NCP demanded that the government should clarify its stand over the issue.
While the house was debating over a calling attention motion on use of water from the Khadakwasla dam near Pune, Shiv Sena member Sunil Prabhu stood up and informed the house that the upper house has been adjourned over the issue of statehood to Vidarbha. He also said that BJP MP from Gondiya Nana Patole has brought in a private member’s bill in the Parliament for creation of a separate Vidarbha state.
“This is an insult to idea of Sanyukta Maharashtra (United Maharashtra) and insult of the martyrs who laid their lives for united Maharashtra,” he said.
As he said that, the BJP MLAs from Vidarbha stood up and started shouting slogans in favour of Vidarbha statehood. The move was equally reciprocated by Shiv Sena members. For a few moments it appeared that the members of two ruling parties were warring amongst themselves. The tempers rose so high that the speaker was left with no option but to adjourn the house. He adjourned the house first for 10 minutes.
When the house met again, the din continued. The BJP members from Vidarbha were too aggressive and were not letting Prabhu speak. Hence, the house was adjourned once again for 15 minutes.
After slogans from BJP MLAs favouring a separate Vidarbha state, Shiv Sena minister Diwakar Raote, who always vehemently opposes any such move, rushed to BJP legislators. Senior ministers including Chandrakant Patil pacified Raote.
Then Shiv Sena’s Shambhuraje Desai took over as the panel speaker. He asked Prabu to continue with his speech. Education minister Vinod Tawde tried to raise a point whether it is appropriate to raise an issue in the assembly over a private bill in the parliament and tried to calm down the Shiv Sena. But, that did not help. Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde opposed Tawde as he was he was speaking.
Prabhu continued for a few minutes and demanded that the government should clarify on the issue. Meanwhile the BJP members from Vidarbha entered the well and started thumping speaker’s desk, after which the House was adjourned for the day.
Afterwards Congress-NCP legislators also staged a protest at the entrance of Vidhan Bhawan building, condemning the BJP over demand for separate Vidarbha. BJP legislators also reached the scene, shouting pro-Vidarbha slogans.