Mumbai, August 1 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan Thursday ruled out any possibility of separating Mumbai or Vidarbha and asserted the state will remain united.
"The question does not arise. Maharashtra will remain united. Neither Mumbai nor Vidarbha will be separated from the state," Chavan said while interacting with media persons here.
Asked to comment on celebrity author Shobhaa De's tweet raising questions of a separate statehood for Mumbai, Chavan brushed it aside by saying it was "frivolous".
Chavan's statement came two days after the central government decided to carve a separate Telangana state out of Andhra Pradesh.
Immediately, there was a clamour from various fronts demanding a separate state of Vidarbha, comprising 11 districts of eastern Maharashtra.
The demand has been made from virtually all leaders hailing from Vidarbha owing allegiance to different political parties.
However, both Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena are strongly opposed to any division of Maharashtra and have vowed to fight any such proposal.
De's comment on the issue stoked up a major controversy leading to a bitter war of words and culminating in demonstrations outside her home in south Mumbai.
The Shiv Sena demanded that De should be booked for her utterances while the MNS activists have termed her statement as "wrong."
Incidentally, even the Bharatiya Janata Party, Nationalist Congress Party and other groups have opposed separating Mumbai or Vidarbha from Maharashtra.
However, a section of leaders from Congress, BJP and other parties, as well as NGOs like Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti are vocal on the demand and have decided to intensify the agitation for a separate state in eastern Maharashtra.