The Vidarbha movement is set to get another fillip

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by ejazr, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    www.outlookindia.com | State Of Play

    It’s by now a seasoned demand, the one for a separate Vidarbha state, to be carved out of eastern Maharashtra (comprising 11 districts bordering three states). The movement has peaked more than once over the years but has lacked in critical areas, like in the drama and histrionics of the Telangana movement or the ruthless official decision-making, as has been the case in Uttar Pradesh. That said, ‘Vidarbha’ renews its demand each time the small-states issue occupies the national agenda.

    December 12 is the new date set for another boost to the concept. “This time we are serious about an all-out agitation,” says Nagpur-based ex-MP Jambuwantrao Dhote, who has led many agitations on the issue. He realises, though, that the campaign carries a peculiar complexity—the political party at the forefront of it, the BJP, is hemmed in by an alliance partner, Shiv Sena, that’s bitterly opposed to it. (The Sena claims a part of its lingua-political legacy from the Samyukta Maharashtra movement which led to the creation of Maharashtra in 1960.)

    “We cannot allow Maharashtra to be divided,” says Sena MP Bharat Raut. In addition, the BJP has now to contend with a Sena clone too—Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena—that also draws its identity and support on the basis of Marathi asmita (identity). This was why the BJP-led NDA—which had created three small states during its reign at the Centre— had been unable to do so for Vidarbha. But this time around BJP state general secretary Vinod Tawde is adamant. “We are committed to statehood for Vidarbha... there are sound economic reasons for it,” he says. Colleague and Nagpur MLA Devendra Fadnavis has also convinced the party leadership (not that BJP president Nitin Gadkari who’s from Nagpur needed much convincing) of these. “Vidarbha has good quality raw materials and soil, yet it remains backward in development,” says Fadnavis. “Budget allocation from the Centre is skewed because in united Maharashtra, development and wealth in Mumbai-Pune evens out the extreme low GDP of eastern Maharashtra.”

    The Congress is, so far, in the comfort zone; given the battle between the BJP and Sena, it can afford to stay out. It’s a relief for AICC general secretary Vilas Muttemwar, for he was once the region’s mascot for a separate Vidarbha, going as far as to write to PM Manmohan Singh in 2009 to press the demand. But since becoming general secretary, he’s been rather silent. “We are not surprised,” says Kishor Tiwari, a social activist who’s documenting the spate of cotton farmer suicides. “The Congress is responsible for our backwardness. There are Planning Commission reports, fact-finding committee reports, the CAG findings of ’07 and the Maharashtra government’s own papers which all say that there’s a severe backlog in funds allocated to Vidarbha. How will the region progress?”

    The reports all point to the fact that western Maharashtra—represented by the politically powerful sugar lobby and Maratha politicians—has cornered the major allocations at the expense of other regions, including Vidarbha. The backlog was in the region of Rs 15,000 crore five years ago, despite the existence of statutory development boards under Article 371 (2) of the Constitution to set right the balance. Now, regional leaders and businessmen are convinced that only a separate state can fulfil their aspirations. Vidarbha, they point out, has everything going for it: it’s not drought-prone like Marathwada, has been power surplus in the last two decades, houses two-thirds of the state’s mineral resources and three-fourths of forest resources. It’s a powerful argument that has rallied non-political outfits like Vidarbha Rajya Nirman Samiti, economic/trade associations, and student organisations to join the agitation.
     
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  3. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    The same party that initially opposed the dividing of UP is extending support to the idea of a separate Vidarbha.

    Without Shiv Sena or NCP no "national party" will be able to divide Maharashtra.
     
  4. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Its very likely that statehood demand for Vidarbha & Marathwada will be intensified in coming days. State Govt & GOI has been doing absolutely nothing to develop these regions. Hundreds of farmers died because some babu sitting capital decided price of their year-round hardwork.

    If you can not administrate region properly & consecutively deny them fair growth opportunity, its no surprise that they'll demand separate state eventually leading to better resource distribution.

    Its really fight within NDA to take stand on this issue. If they delay it, factions will jump off the wagon. Already OBCs are not really happy with BJP power structure & they are major stakeholders when it comes to Vidarbha & Marathwada.

    Unfortunately there will be tremendous politics played over this agitation instead of rightfully resolving the issue.
     
  5. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Shivsena is a dying breed. Raj Thakrey will be ready for anything when presented better political trade. NCP is not really powerful in eastern & central Maharashtra. Its all about how BJP & Congress play it.
     
  6. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    I'm pretty sure about what SS and MNS think.
    Will the NCP agree if the Congress is ready to grant statehood?

    For one, I will be happy to see national parties declining in AP and MH because of the fulfillment of separate statehood demands.:pop:
     
  7. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    In which region is Shiv sena exactly powerful?Who is the most respected politician in maharasthra today by the masses?
     
  8. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Sharad Pawar:lol:
     
  9. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Shivsena today is very divided & losing on every front. MNS has swallowed their voter-base and constituencies. They've appreciable support in Thane, Nashik, Parbhani & Aurangabad too.

    Gopinath Mundhe is indeed leader of masses. He's called Lokneta. Traditional congress supporters respect Prithviraj & Vilasrao, thats Latur belt & konkan. Remaining parts are literally ruled by NCP & Pawars.
     
  10. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Congress will not be ready for statehood of Marathwada in the first place. As for Vidarbha, stakeholders are distributed between BJP & congress. More in BJP though.

    People in Vidarbha have suffered so much that they don't care about national equation. Even regional parties have failed to attend them.
     
  11. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    NRJ I hear not so great things about NCP .So Munde ,Pawar,Chavan and Deshmukh have great respect.Who is the tallest leader among the Maratha's
     
  12. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    But if BJP or INC accept Vidarbha's statehood demand, will that not anger the custodians of "Marathi asmita"? And as a result will not that decline in popularity of the National parties in other regions?
     
  13. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    Pawar_ maratha
    Munde _obc
     
  14. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    You can say Chavans are the tallest leaders among Marathas. Right from Mr.Yashwantrao Chavan. But Mundhe has snatched much more public support. He's a true mass leader. In western parts, Ajitdada & Sharad Pawar are god.
     
  15. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Nrj how influential are the maratha's as a caste.Let's say they are as influential as the kammas and reddies in SI .Are these guys a united or divided bunch
     
  16. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    There will be some enmity without doubt. But if you look inside closely, the major urban centres of these regions are controlled by national parties. Latur, Aurangabad, Nagpur. When these regions will split, the influence of power holders in these cities will extend unprecedentedly towards small towns/villages surrounding it.

    Marathwada & Vidarbha are so deprived that people call western Maharashtrians to be their step-brothers since they are power holders & never look after their development. So I'll not leave much to public sentiment especially within areas demanding statehood.
     
  17. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Marathas are divided within due to regionalism. I do not know about Kammas/Reddies so cant compare.
     
  18. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Andhra and Maharasthra have uneven development and Maha had the additional badluck of bad leaders
     
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  19. SPIEZ

    SPIEZ Senior Member Senior Member

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    In comparison doesn't Andhra fare much worse in uneven development ...?
     
  20. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    Financially how are they placed compared to other communities and what percentage of votes do they compromise
     
  21. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    I absolutely agree with development part. Leaders were not exactly bad but they didn't allow fair distribution of resources.
     

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