Nagpur News: It seems Shiv Sena is at the helm of debate at present. After Manohar Joshi’s first-commenting-and-then-apologizing antics over his remarks on the party’s functioning after the demise of former Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, another fireball was pitted in the party’s court by Vidarbha protagonist Jambuwantrao Dhote in Nagpur. However Dhote’s comments did not draw any fire from Shiv Sena and hence he did not have to come up with any clarification.
On Friday’s meet with Nagpur Union of Working Journalists, Dhote made it a point to oppose Shiv Sena tooth and nail for the party’s reservation on formation of Vidarbha. But little did Dhote know that he would have to see red in face when he was flooded with the volley of questions he had tough time to answer.
Dhote, who was in Shiv Sena earlier, found himself dumb when posed with a question that why he did not raise the demand for Vidarbha when he was in Shiv Sena. He also remained clueless when asked why he did not raise similar demand when the Congress had formed government in the state between 1980 and 1985 with his party’s help.
Dhote had claimed that he was instrumental in making AR Antulay, Babasaheb Bhonsale and even Vasantdada Patil, the chief ministers of the state. After Dhote concluded his speech, journalists and Vidarbha activists asked him that if he had such a strong hold on government why did not he stressed upon it to grant statehood to Vidarbha. The beleaguered leader defended by saying that Vasantdada Patil and Bal Thackeray had pleaded with him to not raise the issue of Vidarbha as their governments were in trouble. “Every bad person should be given a chance to reform himself. However, when the person goes on doing bad things he has to be taught a lesson. So, I have decided to take them head on this time,” he added.
He said that the Central Province administration had proposed statehood to Vidarbha way back in 1988. He described how Jawaharlal Nehru first favoured Vidarbha in his report and then decided against it under pressure from Western Maharashtra politicians. He slammed BJP for not honouring its Bhubaneshwar executive body decision and not considering Vidarbha when it created three new states.
When a journalist asked him to inform the audience about his role in the movement in 1970s and 1980s he claimed that the new generation knew everything about on the Internet. He then recounted the agitations but skipped the part where he joined hands with Indira Gandhi.