Nagpur News: The victory of Telangana proponents has encouraged other statehood struggles that have been gaining momentum since it became clear the Centre will bite the bullet on bifurcating Andhra.
“Now when the Telangana state has been agreed to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh, people of Vidarbha will have genuine resentment if their similar demand for creation of separate Vidarbha state is not simultaneously agreed to,” wrote Vilas Muttemwar, seven-time Lok Sabha member representing Nagpur.
In a ripple effect of Telangana, senior Congress leader Vilas Muttemwar pressed for creation of Vidarbha state out of Maharashtra and wrote to party president Sonia Gandhi, saying this demand was “older and stronger” than that for carving out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.
In a letter to party chief Sonia Gandhi, Muttemwar said: “now when the Telangana state has been agreed to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh, people of Vidarbha will have genuine resentment if their similar demand for creation of separate Vidarbha state is not (not) simultaneously agreed to.”
Staunch protagonist of Vidarbha state, former BJP MP Banwarilal Purohit, who formed a political outfit for fighting for the cause, said that his party had passed a resolution in its Bhubneshwar executive committee in 1992 supporting separate Vidarbha.
Now, the BJP should convince its alliance partner Shiv Sena to concede the demand, he said.
A prominent city-based NGO, Vidarbha Economic development Council (VED), has also strongly demanded carving out Vidarbha from Maharashtra.
During the last 50 years, Maharashtra “failed to develop Vidarbha region” and, therefore, under article 371 (2) of the Constitution of India, to remove regional imbalance the Statutory Development Board was set up, VED chairman Devendra Parekh said.
The board failed to correct the imbalance, as is evident from the HR Index, per capita income table and gross district product table, published by GoM in its annual survey of state economy in 2009, it said.
Since the constitutional remedy has failed in bringing economic development in Vidarbha, making it a separate state is the only solution and the demand is more than justified, he said.
Vidarbha presently produces 4,500 MW power and another 10,000 MW is in the pipeline.
Kishore Tiwari President of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), an activity group working for farmer ad tribal welfare urged CWC chairperson and UPA convener Sonia Gandhi not to ignore issue Vidarbha when they are taking final call to separate Telangana from Andhra as Vidarbha is classic example of complete apathy and colonization as tribal and distressed debt trapped farmers denied food ,shelter, education, employment and health cares where farmers killing themselves @ 8 hourly and malnourish tribal’s are dying due starvation ,the region has been graveyard and some of places are worst than Somalia hence we request CWC to not to ignore their stand over separate vidrabha to save 2 billion population who are under illumination process.CWC has been asked to see the present backlog and socio-economic condition of region which lowermost human value index and making vidrabha dodes not need parliament reffrendum too as most of parties in UPA and BJP is supporting the demand.
CWC has been recalled the history of pending demand of vidrabh since 1903 as till the defeat of Raghuji II of Bhonsla dynasty by the Britishers in 1817, Vidarbha was an independent kingdom with Nagpur as Capital. It is said that in 1888, the then British Commissioner had proposed creation of separate Vidarbha Province.
In 1903, A week before the Independence of India, the Congress Party Leaders in the Marathi speaking areas of the then C.P. & Berar and Maharashtra entered in to an agreement known as “Akola Pact” on 8th of August, 1947 (Annexure–A).
In the Akola Pact it was agreed to establish two separate States of Marathi speaking people, one Vidarbha and second – Rest of Marathi speaking areas of Maharashtra. This pact also agreed to have two separate Legislative Assemblies, separate judiciary, separate Ministry but under one Governor.
In 1948, Dar Commission while discussing the reorganization of States said in its Report recommended Vidrabh state after that States Reorganization Commission (SRC) under the Chairmanship of Justice Fazal Ali with Shri Hridhyanath Kunjaru and Shri Sardar Panikkar as Members was set up in Dec 1953, known as “Fazal Ali Commission” to examine the reorganisation of the States in the country.
The Commission gave its report in 1955 and recommended formation of separate State of Vidarbha on various grounds. The recommendation of the Commission regarding separate State of Vidarbha, which is contained in Chapter VIII of the report, is enclosed as (Annexure C). The salient features are:i) Vidarbha’s traditional financial surplus continues. It may be crore and half of rupees or possibly more.
In view of the satisfactory position of Vidarbha and since Maharashtra without grater Bombay is likely to be a deficit area on revenue account to very much greater extent, there is some reluctance to join Maharashtra. There seems to be prima facie clarification for the suspicion that if Vidarbha joins Maharashtra, it cannot be certain that its resources will be spent within its area on suitable development schemes and projects.and There was the fear that Nagpur will be completely over shadowed by the Bombay City, which would be the natural capital of a single Maharashtrian State, if it were created, However, for political reasons, the recommendations of “Fazal Ali Commission” were not accepted and on the contrary efforts were made to give legal status to the Nagpur agreement and also assurances to the people of Vidarbha that their interest in one Marathi speaking State of Maharashtra would be safe-guarded.
The Constitution of India was amended in November 1956 and a new Article 371(2) was incorporated, enabling the President of India under article 371(2) to provide for special responsibility of Governor of Maharashtra for the establishment of development Boards for Vidarbha responsibilities ensuring equitable allocation of funds for development expenditure over the areas subject to the requirement of the State as a whole and Equitable arrangement for providing adequate facilities for technical education and vocational training and also adequate opportunities for employment in the but it failed since formation of Maharashtra hence there is need for reconstruction Maharashtra ,Tiwari added.
It is fact that all 11 districts of western vidarbha are till under the grip of agrarian crisis coupled massive natural calamities , tribal starvation deaths followed by the organized exploitation of illiterate farmers at the hands of unscrupulous moneylenders and hence creation of vidrabha is need of hour, Tiwari said .