"Vidarbha region's development is not possible without curving out a new state out of Maharashtra," Raut, who is also District Guardian Minister of Nagpur, told reporters here today, thus becoming the first minister of a Congress-led Maharashtra government in power, to press for separate statehood for the Vidabha region.
"I was disappointed with the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week during the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Nagpur Metro Rail project, when he carefully skipped the issue of a separate Vidarbha state. I expected that Modi will announce the creation of a Vidarbha state," Raut said.
In fact, the BJP is the only party which has passed a unanimous resolution during its Bhubaneswar national executive meeting for granting separate statehood to the Vidarbha region, he said, adding that during the BJP's Lok Sabha poll campaign, it had promised a separate state of Vidarbha, if it is voted to power.
"How quickly the BJP has reneged on its election promises," Raut said. Raut claimed that he not only favoured a separate Vidarbha state, but also wanted creation of eight new districts in the Vidarbha region, by bifurcating the large district.
New districts like Pusad, Achalpur, Chimur, Ashti, Bramhapuri, Aheri, Khamgaon and Katol should be created, he said. Raut, who was entrusted with a new responsibility as the Guardian Minister of Nagpur district, only early this month, said that he was here "to play few balls of a 20-20 match".
"I will not leave any stone unturned to transform the city," Raut said. He expressed his concern about the deteriorating law and order situation in the city, particularly chain snatching. He said that he would review the law and order situation of the city later today.