Nagpur : At a conference held this evening, Vidarbha Connect an organization formed as an umbrella for all activists fighting for a separate Vidarbha passed a united resolution that ” all the political parties who are opposed to the formation of Vidarbha state, like the Shiv Sena, the MNS and the NCP will be pushed out of Vidarbha in the coming Vidhan Sabha elections. We will oppose all their candidates and appeal to voters to not vote for them on 15th.
We also warn the BJP that if they do not make their stand on this issue clear, we shall reject their candidates also and support other parties who have come out openly in support of Vidarbha. ”
Speaking to this correspondent, President of V Connect Advocate Mukesh Samarth said that Prime Minister Modi’s speech at his public rally in Nagpur and elswhere in Vidarbha was very disappointing in that he did not speak about the problems of Vidarbha at all, neither did he offer any solutions to end farmers’ suicides of Vidarbha. His reference to MIHAN was also very obfuscating and did not make much sense.
“MIHAN is well under way and it is not an issue at these elections at all” said Advocate Samarth. “The burning issue that concerns us all is the repeated injustive being mete out to Vidarbha and the immediate formation of this state – a subject that has been kept on the back burner for too long by even parties who purport to be committed to it.”
It may be mentioned here that Vidarbha Connect has the backing of all the following – Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VEDC), Vidarbha Environmental Action Group (VEAG), Jan Manch, Nagpur Union of Working Journalists (NUWJ), Youth for Vidarbha, Vidarbha Rajya Sangharsh Samiti and Vidarbha Joint Action Committee (VJAC).
Mr. Vilas Kale, one of the founder members of VED and a leading businessman of Nagpur, who was also present at the meet, said “we are all extremely disappointed that the BJP manifesto for the Vidhan Sabha elections does not mention Vidarbha at all despite all their assurances. They may have their political compulsions for doing so but with their ambiguous stand on the issue we shall also refrain from supporting them on the 15th . We therefore have unanimously decided that voters can and should opt for the NOTA option on voting day.”
Speaking about the Congress and its joint statement that all Congress candidates from Nagpur support Vidarbha, Mr. Kale opined that ” it is this party itself that has for 50 and more years presided on the demise of our hopes and our continued neglect. We find it difficult to believe their words any more.”
The others present at the meet were Mr. Anil Kilor, Devendra Parekh. Dinesh Naidu, Tejinder Singh Ranu and Shrinivas Khandewale apart from many leading journalists of Nagpur.