Congress MP demands statehood for Vidarbha

New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) Amid speculation that the Congress Working Committee (CWC) could accede to the demand for Telangana, a Congress MP has asked party chief Sonia Gandhi to consider a separate state for Vidarba.

Vilas Muttemwar, Congress MP from Nagpur, told IANS Tuesday that he has written to Sonia Gandhi demanding that the party leadership consider demand for a separate state of Vidarbha out of Maharashtra.

"The demand of statehood for Vidarbha is stronger and older than Telangana," Muttemwar, a seven-time member of the Lok Sabha, told IANS.

He said that the first state reorganisation commission had made a recommendation for Vidarbha statehood but the then leadership in the region decided to join Maharashtra, following "intervention of the then party high command and assurance that their interests will be protected".

"No promises have been fulfilled. There have been 45,000 farmer suicides (in Vidarbha). Thousands have died due to malnutrition. There is no industry," Muttemwar said.

He said there was a controversy over the status of the proposed capital of Telangana but there was no issues about a capital for Vidarbha.

He said they were demanding creation of Vidarbha state by including 11 districts of Maharashtra. Vidarbha region holds 21.3 percent of the total population of Maharashtra.

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