The passage of the contentious Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill in the Lok Sabha to create a separate state of Telangana has spurred parties in Maharashtra to renew the demand for statehood to Vidarbha.
RPI President Ramdas Athawale today announced that his party will launch an agitation in Vidarbha on February 24, to demand that the region be given statehood. "The Centre should have created a separate Vidarbha state, along with the decision on Telangana," Athawale told reporters here. "We will meet Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde shortly to demand statehood for Vidarbha," the RPI leader said.
The state BJP leadership has reiterated its demand for Vidarbha.
State BJP president Devendra Fadnavis said, "We had already passed the resolution in favour of smaller states, including a separate state of Vidarbha."
Congress leaders from Vidarbha have also backed the demand. "The party will definitely support a separate Vidarbha state," MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre said. However, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has opposed the demand.