Published On : Wed, Dec 16th, 2015

Fadnavis backs off on Vidarbha promise, passes buck to Centre

File Photo: Ashish Deshmukh leader of Saprate Vidarbha took out a rally (padyatra) from Shahid chouk, Itwari Nagpur on Saturday. Pic by Sudarshan Sakharkar

File Photo: Ashish Deshmukh leader of Saprate Vidarbha took out a rally (padyatra) from Shahid chouk, Itwari Nagpur

Nagpur: In a major setback to the separate Vidarbha aspirations of hordes of leaders and people, the state government backed off on its poll promise in the assembly on Tuesday. Washing its hands off the Vidarbha statehood statement given by State Advocate General Shrihari Aney, the state government trashed the issue, shrugging the responsibility on Centre’s shoulders.

Presenting a resolution in this regard in the Legislative Council on Wednesday, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis sidelined himself from the statement saying that it was Aney’s personal views expressed on a public platform and he has in no way said anything defamatory to the sacrifice of 106 martrys.

He opined as per Indian Constitution, it was Central Government’s right to decide on forming any new state, and not the State government’s discretion. However he reiterated that the state government is committed to clear Vidarbha’s backlog and ensure its all round development.

It may be mentioned that just two days before Nagpur winter session was to begin, Advocate General Shrihari Aney had demanded Centre to go for public poll over the issue of granting statehood to Vidarbha. This catapulted into fireworks in the assembly as the Opposition blew the issue beyond proportion. The Opposition along with Shiv Sena tried to corner the State Government over the state and even staged protest outside assembly.

Speaker at Legislative Council Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar then directed the Chief Minister to come clear on the issue. The CM presented his stand on Tuesday, however, the Opposition was not willing to buy the clarification and the Chief Minister had to put his request yet again. Fadnavis said that the State Reorganization Commission had recommended for Independent Vidarbha State. However in 1952 a Nagpur Agreement was signed on the ground that there should be a dedicated State for Marathi speaking people. As per the agreement, Nagpur was suppose to get the status of second capital, a High Court bench to be set up in the city, and funds should be allocated in proportion to the population.

Fadnavis said that the Opposition members had asked for a resolution on Aney’s statement on December 5. He said Aney’s views were his own which he spoke at a book launch function. Many dignitaries aired their views over Vidarbha issue. Some said that the Centre could not see Telangana like spark in Vidarbha revolution. On this, Shrihari Aney advocated for people’s poll, claiming that they would drop the demand for separate Vidarbha if they get less than 51% votes in support of the demand. He said that similar polls were earlier conducted in four districts of Vidarbha where 80% votes were polled in support of statehood. He again defended Aney saying that he had not insulted 106 martrys.