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Fulfil Vidarbha statehood demand before Maha polls: Muttemwar

New Delhi: Centre should take immediate steps for carving out a separate Vidarbha state from Maharashtra before the assembly elections "as promised" by BJP, Congress leader Vilas Muttemwar said today.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the former Union Minister has said that in 1996, the BJP session held at Bhubaneshwar decided to consider the demands for creation of new independent states and it should take this demand to its logical end.

"In 2000, when the NDA formed their government formed three new states viz Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand, but the claim of Vidarbha was completely ignored despite BJP's public commitment thereby betraying trust of the people of Vidarbha," he said in a letter. Muttemwar added that people from all walks of life and age groups have strongly batted for a separate Vidarbha state.

"Independent plebiscites organised by social organisations recently in the four cities of Vidarbha- Nagpur, Amrvatai, Chandrapur and Yavatmal - have shown that 85 per cent to 97 per cent of voters favoured formation of a separate state of Vidarbha.

"Majority of the political parties and their representatives from Parliament to panchayat samitis have supported the demand in a democratic and peaceful manner. Trade and industry associations, doctors, lawyers and people of all walks of life and especially the youth of the region have also supported the demand for restoration of statehood to Vidarbha," he added. 

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