Nagpur, Aug. 5 (ANI): Former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari on Monday confirmed his party's support for a separate state of Vidarbha by saying that if the Congress and the BJP worked together on the issue, it could be created along with the state of Telangana.
" I feel that if the Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party come together, Vidarbha will be created. I appeal to local Congress supporters of Vidarbha to go to Sonia Gandhi and Dr. Manmohan Singh to convince them, and make those against its creation understand. Vidarbha, I believe, can be brought into Parliament along with Telangana and we will support its creation," Gadkari said here.
Reiterating that the BJP is in favour of smaller states, Gadkari said that whenever the Congress brings forth a proposal for a separate state of Vidarbha, the main opposition party would support it wholeheartedly.
Gadkari also used the opportunity to urge local Congress Vidarbha supporters to convince the top leadership of their party, so that the proposal would come into parliament with Telangana.
" In the Congress party, some leaders are in support of Vidarbha, while some are against its creation. I appeal to Nagpur Congress politicians (and) Vidarbha (Congress) politicians to bring an internal unanimity within their party and with the proposal to bring in Telangana, a proposal for Vidarbha should also be brought forth. I assure them that the BJP will support it when it comes into Parliament," Gadkari said.
According to reports, Congress Member of Parliament Vilas Muttemwar had earlier expressed his support for Vidarbha statehood to Congress President Sonia Gandhi in a letter.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel had also said that his party backed a Vidarbha being carved out of Maharashtra, saying "it has been a long-pending demand for statehood."
Vidarbha is the eastern region of Maharashtra and is made up of the Nagpur Division and the Amravati Division. Its former name is Berar. It occupies 31.6 percent of total area and holds 21.3 percent of total population of Maharashtra.
It borders the state of Madhya Pradesh to the north, Chhattisgarh to the east, Andhra Pradesh to the south and Marathwada and Khandesh regions of Maharashtra to the west.
After the decision to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh was made public, the demand for creation of other states has grown louder throughout the country. There have been demands and protests to divide Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Assam and West Bengal. (ANI)