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Maha Parties To Call For Bandh For Separate Vidarbha State

PTI 05 Jan 2010, 9:34:05 AM IST

The agitation for a separate Vidarbha state gained momentum on Monday with all political parties barring Shiv Sena deciding to intensify the movement and call a bandh in support of their demand.

After a day long sit-in launched by former Union Minister Vilas Muttemwar of the Congress and other pro-Vidarbha leaders, including Animal Husbandry Minister Nitin Raut, an all-party meeting was held where Bharatiya Janata Party leaders also came out in support of Vidarbha state.

The BJP's ally Shiv Sena has been opposing any division of Maharashtra.

Republican Party of India (Bahujan Mahasanhg) leader Prakash Ambedkar, Congress Member of Parliament Datta Meghe, former MP Banwarilal Purohit, former Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ranjeet Deshmukh, ex-MPs, Jambuwantrao Dhote, Naresh Pugalia, BJP legislators Davendra Phadanvis, Sudhakar Deshmukh and Krishna Khopde were prominent among those who demanded statehood to the region.

Congress Member of Legislative Assembly Dinanath Padole, Dalit leader Sulekha Kumbhare, Shetkari Sanghatana's Ram Newale, Haridas Bhade, (MLA), Zainuddin Jhaveri (MLC), Madhukar Wasnik, Krishnarao Pandhv, both former MLCs and Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti president Kishore Tiwari also attended the meeting.

It was decided to hold the next meeting on January 7 to finalise the proposed Vidarbha bandh plan, Ambedkar told journalists. PTI