Employment guarantee minister Nitin Raut on Tuesday stated that the people of Vidarbha have made up their minds and do not want to be part of Maharashtra.
Speaking informally to mediapersons in Nagpur, Raut said that the people believe that the development of the region cannot be carried out as long as it is a part of the state, as there is a backlog in every area and the people are unhappy.
Raut also pointed out that the huge turnout for the referendum for a separate Vidarbha state organised by social organisation Janmanch on Monday is proof of what people actually want.
According to Janmanch, at least five lakh people cast their vote at 450 booths across the city.
Furthermore, Raut said that when Yashwantrao Chavan was the chief minister of the state, he had asked leaders from western Maharashtra to set aside their differences and work for the development of Vidarbha.
Referring to the way leaders of Vidarbha had performed, Raut said that when Vasantrao Naik was the chief minister, he had cited differences in the way elected representatives from western Maharashtra pursued development issues with the state government. He said that now, elected representatives from Vidarbha are more aggressive and studious while pursuing development issues.
Raut also asked that if problems relating to the Forest Conservation Act can be taken care of in other regions, then why not in Vidarbha. The minister also expressed confidence that the Congress would do well in the forthcoming elections and also said that if the party is doing badly, it is because of the differences between the Congress leaders.