Mumbai: BJP MLA Ashish Deshmukh wants Vidarbha to be a separate state

Mumbai: With the Shiv Sena opting to go solo in the next Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly elections, the Centre should take immediate steps to fulfil the BJP’s “poll promise” of creating separate Vidarbha state, BJP MLA Ashish Deshmukh said here on Wednesday.

The Shiv Sena, which is part of the ruling NDA at the Centre and in Maharashtra government, has been opposed to the demand of statehood for Vidarbha region. Deshmukh, son of former Maharashtra Congress chief Ranjeet Deshmukh, also said he will resign as an MLA over the issue “if need be”.

Seen as a critic of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, the legislator from Nagpur’s Katol assembly segment claimed he took up the Vidarbha issue with Fadnavis, but did not receive any response. The MLA, however, said he was not questioning the chief minister’s commitment towards creation of a separate state. Deshmukh dismissed as baseless reports claiming that he is set to rejoin the Congress.

“Since the Shiv Sena has decided to go alone in the next Lok Sabha and assembly elections in Maharashtra, the BJP should go ahead with its promise of giving separate statehood to Vidarbha. The BJP should latch onto this opportunity,” Deshmukh told reporters here.

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