Mumbai, Aug 6: Senior Congress leaders from the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra want a separate Congress unit for the region. Congress leaders Nitin Raut, Vilas Muttemwar and Satish Chaturvedi today said they would be holding a rally demanding separate Vidarbha at Chandrapur tomorrow.
On Thursday, these leaders had addressed a gathering at Yavatmal where they criticised senior state Congress leaders Prithviraj Chavan, Narayan Rane and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil for opposing the demand.
Rane and others had tried to corner Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BJP on the issue in the Assembly earlier this week. "Chavan, Rane and Vikhe Patil are selfish and do not have any emotional bond with Vidarbha and therefore ignorant of the sentiments of people there," said Raut, who was a minister in Chavan's cabinet. He said separate Vidarbha issue was on BJP's election manifesto.
"If the CM is now taking U-turn from his earlier stand (in support of Vidarbha state), voters from the region will teach BJP a lesson in the coming local body elections and the 2019 Assembly polls," Raut said.
Madhukar Kimatkar, a senior Congress leader and a former minister, demanded there should be a separate Pradesh Congress Committee for Vidarbha.
"We do not expect to get justice from Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee which is led by people who want united Maharashtra," Kimatkar said. Raut said they had not discussed the issue with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, but expressed hope that she would support the demand.