Nagpur MP Vilas Muttemwar appears to be standing tough in support of his struggle regarding separate statehood to Vidarbha, particularly for the betterment of the region. Initiating a fresh move in addition to his series of efforts for the region, Muttemwar has written to all the Congress leaders in the region, urging them to proceed integrated towards the cause of Vidarbha. He even proposed to do anything and follow any Congressman stepping up to lead the movement.
“I am ready to do anything for a separate Vidarbha, ready to follow any Congressman willing to lead the movement for it,” wrote Muttemwar.
Act before people turn violent
In his letter Muttemwar has specifically mentioned the people’s wish to have Vidarbha as state. “In reality, statehood for Vidarbha was considered by the Congress All India Working Committee in 2001 along with Telangana. But many people have said Telangana was promised statehood because of the intensity of the movement and its violent turn. This is unfortunate. We have been peaceful and have suffered innumerable injustices. But that should not be the reason for not granting us statehood. We should be granted our state before the people’s anger boils over.”
Proper representation, easier access
Muttemwar also pointed that separate statehood to Vidarbha clearly means proper representation in the government. The people would have convenient reach to the government, given the shorter distance of capital city from other connecting districts. The smaller size would also lead to the smooth administration. “People from the region are not well represented in boards and committees of the government. To push for any demand, workers have to go all the way to Mumbai. For the people of Vidarbha, the capital of Maharashtra is a 1,000km away. This is not the case, even in the biggest state of the country,” says the letter. “As Mumbai is an international city, there are a lot of demands on the time of the government. Also, there are 35 districts to take care of. We do not need Mumbai for our survival,” Muttemwar was quoted as saying in his letter.
No more wait now
“Now, we cannot and should not wait much longer,” the letter says, “In 16 years, 35,000 farmers have committed suicide, 23,000 children have fallen victim to malnourishment, five districts are suffering due to Naxalism, and there is no respite or development in sight. Even the wet drought was not given the importance it deserved. The Maharashtra government follows the three monkeys of Gandhiji; it neither looks at, listens to or talks about the woes of Vidarbha.”
No poll tricks, only cause
Muttemwar adds that if Nagpur had not been demoted to a second capital, it would have become a growth centre by now. “It is always said that Vidarbha leaders are unassertive and selfish. But it should be remembered that it has always been Congress leaders who have in the end taken up the cause of separate Vidarbha. The BJP has only used it as a poll trick and we can never trust it for the cause, as they will always hesitate due to their ally Shiv Sena.” “As people’s representatives, it is our foremost duty to work for the cause and will of the people. It is time now that we ask Maharashtra leaders to give us our Vidarbha, and stop caring for us,” said Muttemwar’s letter.