The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leadership seems to be divided over splitting Maharashtra. Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured voters that he would not allow Maharashtra to be torn apart as long as he is in power, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said his party was in favour of creating small states.
Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also said the BJP tried its best to save the alliance with the Shiv Sena
Prasad was in the city ahead of the October 15 state assembly elections. Before addressing a public rally yesterday, the minister talked to media persons.
Replying to a question whether the BJP is in favour of creating the separate state of Vidarbha, Prasad said that his party is in favour of creating small states.
Interestingly, the prime minister, while addressing a public rally in Dhule district yesterday, said that till the time he remained in power, no one could split the state of Maharashtra.
“What Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his Dhule rally was about the status of Mumbai. The PM said that there would be no plan of separating Mumbai from Maharashtra. However, my party believes in creating small states,” Prasad told reporters.
He also added that there would be no need of a post-poll alliance with the Shiv Sena, as the BJP would get a clear
mandate from the voters of Maharashtra.
When asked whether PM Modi has had to campaign in the state as the party does not have a strong face for the
state, Prasad said that it was the new language of democratic politics.
“If the PM has entered the campaigning fray, this doesn’t mean that the BJP does not have a strong face for the state. It just means that PM Modi is connecting with the people of the state,” the minister added.
Prasad also said that the central government is thinking of repealing 500 old laws that still exist in the country.
On the alliance
While speaking about the broken alliance between the BJP and Shiv Sena, Prasad said that his party had tried its best to save it, but in vain.
When asked if the government was misusing its agencies — for instance, when RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s speech was telecast live on Doordarshan — Prasad clarified, “The speech had news value and, therefore, it was telecast not only on Doordarshan, but also on other private news channels.”