Maharashtra legislature on Monday witnessed unruly scenes as the issue of statehood for Vidarbha resulted in legislators from Shiv Sena, Congress and the NCP coming together to target Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government. Interestingly, legislators of Shiv Sena, who is part of the government, took lead in cornering the BJP.
While Shiv Sena legislators demanded an unconditional apology from state BJP president Raosaheb Danve for his statement on Vidarbha statehood, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil challenged BJP legislators and MPs from Vidarbha to submit there resignations and seek reelection by asking for votes for separate statehood. Vikhe Patil's statement was in response to Danve's comments.
Legislators from Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP entered the well of the house and raised slogans in support of 'Akhand Maharashtra' (undivided Maharashtra). Rajesh Kshirsgar, Shiv Sena legislator from Kolhapur even lifted the 'Mace' kept in front of the speaker of the house. He returned the Mace to its original place only after chief minister Fadnavis intervened.
THE WEEK had reported on Sunday that Danve's statement in Shirdi on Vidarbha statehood was bound to affect proceedings of the both houses of state legislature.
The legislative council was adjourned for the day as senior members of the council- Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde, Congress's Narayan Rane- wanted the government to make its stand clear and issue a statement.
Congress legislator Sanjay Dutt pointed out that while chief minister was speaking the language of 'Make In Maharashtra,' in reality he was involved in 'Breaking Maharashtra'. He also urged Shiv Sena to walk out of the BJP-led government if the party was truly committed to 'Undivided Maharashtra'.
Dhananjay Munde said that the ruling party has always advocated break up of Maharashtra. Their MP had moved a private bill in Lok Sabha on this issue last week, then their state president demanded separate Vidarbha, ministers in state cabinet are now speaking the same language, said Munde. This August house belongs to state of Maharashtra and the ministers who want to break up Maharashtra should quit, he added.
Former chief minister and Congress legislator Narayan Rane said that Fadnavis should resign if he too has a pro-Vidarbha mindset.