Reiterating its staunch opposition to the demand for creation of a separate Vidarbha state, Shiv Sena today said there is no substance left in the demand and accused 'those seeking to divide states of trying to split the country.'
"Among the many issues which crop up ahead of elections is the issue of a separate Vidarbha. As people don't support the demand, it cannot be said what some people will do only to attract attention on this," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said here.
"Nitin Gadkari is now a minister at the Centre and has 'weight' (influence) in Delhi. He will do everything to ensure development of Vidarbha," it said. The editorial mentioned a protest march taken out to his residence in Nagpur by a group seeking separate Vidarbha state.
"This is a united Marathi state and we wish it to be that way. Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh but are winds of happiness blowing there? The daughter of Telangana CM said Telangana and Kashmir are two independent states which have been forcibly included in India," it said.
"Those seeking to divide states are now trying to split the country and such pests need to be crushed at once," Saamana said.
The party's views on Vidarbha came two days after Maharashtra deputy chief minister and NCP heavyweight Ajit Pawar highlighted the political differences between alliance partners Shiv Sena and BJP on Vidarbha.
"I challenge the leaders of Shiv Sena and BJP to come out in the open on one dais and announce what is their stand on Vidarbha, consisting of 11-12 districts. BJP's state president Devendra Fadnavis is from Vidarbha and he is openly supporting the creation of Vidarbha.
"How can a person who wants division of Maharashtra be a contender for the chief minister's post in this state. Is the Shiv Sena listening? Will they work with the party that wants to divide Maharashtra?" Pawar had said.