NCP supports demand for Vidarbha , suggests states reorganization commission be set up

A day after the historical decision to carve out Telangana as a separate state from Andhra Pradesh, National Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel said here today that his party supported the formation of Vidarbha so long as the people want it.

He also suggested that a states reorganization commission is set up to address the rising demands for new states in the country. “As far as Vidarbha is concerned, it has been a long-pending demand for statehood. There have been, in the 1950’s and 1960’s, big agitations for Vidarbha. I am sure people were waiting to see what will happen to Telangana. Now that this decision has been taken, as NCP, I can say we are fully in support of the demand so long as the people of Vidarbha are keen to have it—that has been our stand not only now but even earlier and we stand by it,” Patel said.

“I represent Vidarbha. My stance and my party’s stance has been very clear—If the people want, we will support,” Patel added. Commenting on the increasing number of demands for new states, Patel said that they should be considered. “I think such kind of demands will come and have been coming in the past from many regions in the country. So, it would not be a bad idea to have a second states reorganization commission set up to look at all these issues,” Patel suggested here today. Noting that in the past smaller states have led to development in those regions, Patel said “There is no issue of states being big or small. The question is whether they are justified and viable and I think the states reorganization commission will look into it.

” Patel’s remarks come after Congress Member of Parliament Vilas Muttemwar revived the demand to carve out Vidarbha from Maharashtra. “The demand of statehood for Vidarbha is stronger and older than Telangana,” said Muttemwar, who is also a member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) that finalised the decision to carve out Telangana from Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday. 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. (ANI)