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Nitin Gadkari woos Congress over separate Vidarbha

PTI November 23, 2014 20:00 IST
PTI

Nagpur:  Asserting that BJP was committed to carve out separate Vidarbha state from Maharashtra, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today sought Congress's support on the issue.

“The BJP had promised that if voted to power in Maharashtra, it would create separate Vidarbha. The party had also adopted a resolution in its national executive meet in Bhubaneshwar and hence there is no going back on the assurance,” the Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping said during a programme here today.  

Gadkari, who shared the dais with former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan during a programme on ‘Politics of Development' organised by Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED), said, “Congress should extend support for creation of the new state when two third majority is required (in the Parliament).”

Stating that BJP had always been in favour of smaller states, the Minister said the party had created three states-Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand in the past and played a crucial role in the creation of Telangana when it was in the Opposition.

When asked, Gadkari defended Prime Minister Narendra Modi's style of functioning, stating that there was no truth in the charge that he was “autocratic”.  On the issue of graft, Gadkari said there was a need to change the laws in the country to eliminate corruption.  

“We have taken some initiatives to root out corruption...Online working of Regional Transport Authorities (RTAs) was the first step towards this,” he said.  Speaking at the programme, Chavan said, “Due to the allegations of corruption levelled against the Democratic Front government in Maharashtra and the projection by media, the younger generation voted out ruling parties in the state.”

He added that due to the “compulsions of the coalition government” both at the Centre and also in Maharashtra, the governments could not take effective steps against charges of corruption, he said.

The former chief minister also lamented the delay in prosecution of corruption cases, stating that in some cases it took as many as 18 years to decide.