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Chief minister from Vidarbha, demands Ranjit Deshmukh

Our Correspondent  |  Nagpur 

Former Committee (MPCC) president Ranjit Deshmukh, who lost in the contesting from Nagpur West constituency, now wants a legislator from Vidarbha to be the new chief minister of Maharashtra.
"If the party wishes to do justice to Vidarbha, it should offer the responsibility of leading the state to some legislator from the region," he said in his first interaction with newsmen after he lost to Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) sitting MLA
Deshmukh was, however, quick to add that this did not mean that complete justice would have been done to Vidarbha.
"Ultimate justice would only be done by creating a separate state of Vidarbha," he said adding that this was because the development backlog of the region had swelled to such an extent that it would take 100 years to overcome it.
"I have made this amply clear on a number of times that there is no possibility of Vidarbha's backlog being removed if it remains as part of Maharashtra," he said.
"The creation of a separate state of Vidarbha is the only option and we, the pro-Vidarbha people in the Congress, will pursue the matter within the party forum and whenever the takes up the issue of Telangana, we will press the party high command to include demand of Vidarbha in the process," he said.
Deshmukh, when he was leading in the first round of counting had said that he could also be in the fray for the post of the chief minister, now maintained that he was not aspiring for any official post in the new government or in the party organisation.
"I would devote all my time to the overall development of the region in general and the Nagpur West Assembly segment in particular," he said.
'Internal sabotage reason for defeat'
Only the can defeat the Congress, said a much wiser Ranjit Deshmukh while commenting on his defeat in the Deshmukh did not name anybody, but hinted that some senior leaders of the party and office bearers had conspired to see his downfall.
"At least MPs, MLAs, mayors and those who hold official positions in the government and the organisation because of the party should not work against the party's official candidate. This is exactly what happened in my constituency. I have experienced first hand that only the can defeat the Congress," he said. He said he will be submitting evidence to the party high command.
When it was brought to his notice that similar charges were levelled against him by the party's official candidate from Saoner constituency, Deshmukh dismissed the allegations against him as "baseless".

First Published: Wed, October 20 2004. 00:00 IST