"Modi in his election meeting has flatly ruled out to carve out a new state and that too in the presence of Gadkari and Fadnavis, two staunch protagonist of Vidarbha," senior Congress leader Vilas Muttemwar told reporters here.
Addressing party rallies in the run-up to October 15 elections, Modi had yesterday said that "no power" can split the state even as he asserted that his party will secure an absolute majority in the Assembly polls.
State BJP leaders have always been in favour of carving out Vidarbha state citing lack of development of the region over years. While Gadkari, currently Union Minister for Surface Transport, represents Nagpur Lok Sabha seat, Fadnavis who is the state unit president of BJP is the MLA from Nagpur South West.
"Both the leaders (Gadkari and Fadnavis) have promised to the people of Vidarbha that if BJP comes to power in Delhi, they will initiate talks with the Central leadership on creating a separate Vidarbha state.
"But when the prime minister himself is forgetting the promise made to people of Vidarbha, it is the responsibility of Gadkari and Fadnavis to pursue the issue and convince party leadership, otherwise they should step down," said Muttemwar in the presence of all six candidates of the party from the city.
Muttemwar said that BJP had passed a resolution in its national executive meet in Bhubaneshwar on creating Vidarbha "and should stick to it".
"When Telengana issue came up, BJP supported Congress and that led to formation of new state. Similarly if BJP brings in resolution on separate Vidarbha, Congress leaders from Vidarbha will convince the party high command to support it in Parliament," said Muttemwar who had served as a union minister in the erstwhile UPA government.