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Shutdown In Vidarbha Over Statehood Demand

PTI 20 Jan 2010, 13:55:40 IST

The Vidarbha bandh call given by all parties to press demand for separate Vidarbha received voluntary response on Wednesday in the entire region.

Barring stray incidents of stone pelting on city buses at three places in city and one at Bhandara bus stand, the bandh was overall peaceful, officials said.

The Mumbai-Gondia Vidarbha Express was stopped by some pro-Vidarbha activists at Badnera in Amravati district and later allowed to proceed after about 30 minutes delay.

All the educational institutions, shops and business establishments in busy commercial areas in Sadar, Sitabuldi, Dharampeth, Mahal and Itwari remained closed. City buses and private buses were off the roads so as the autorickshaws.

Reports from other parts of Vidarbha also confirmed near total bandh including naxal-infested Gadchiroli, police claimed 90 percent bandh in Nagpur range and Nagpur rural.

Bandh call was given by all parties including Congress, NCP, BJP, Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh, RPI, Samajwadi Party, Shetkari Sanghatana, Swantratra Bharat Paksha, Gondwana Gantantra Party and other smaller parties.

Shiv Sena remained neutral while leftists and MNS stayed away from the bandh call. Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray and MNS chief Raj Thackeray are opposed to creation of separate Vidarbha state.

Prominent leaders Vilas Muttemwar, Datta Meghe (both Cong MPs), former MPs Banwarilal Purohit (BJP), Naresh Pugalia (Cong), Jambuwantrao Dhote, Prakash Ambedkar (BBMS), former MPCC chief Ranjeet Deshmukh, besides MLAs present and past are on the forefront of separate Vidarbha agitation. PTI