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Aug 05, 2013 at 02:20pm IST

Pro-Vidarbha activists protest in Delhi for a separate state

New Delhi: The demands for creating the state of Vidarbha by dividing Maharashtra have reached the national capital. Around 60-70 activists from the Vidarbha Joint Action Committee are holding protests near Jantar Mantar demanding for a separate Vidarbha.

Former BJP president Nitin Gadkari sympathised with the demand. "In principle, BJP supports the idea of smaller states and formation of Vidarbha. If a bill is brought in Parliament then BJP will certainly support it. In fact, Congress must take up the issue of Vidarbha along with Telangana and BJP will support it," said Gadkari in Nagpur.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP President Devendra Phadanvis along with other leaders will meet party's top brass in Delhi to apprise them of the sentiments of the people in Vidarbha and press to club the issue of separate statehood, with the proposed Telangana Bill.

"We have decided to call on our party leaders in Delhi tomorrow and insist on combining the Vidarbha statehood issue with that of Telangana by moving an amendment in Bill for separate states," Phadanvis said in Nagpur on Monday.

"We are seeking appointment with party leaders who are already in the national capital for the monsoon session of the Parliament, including party chief Rajnath Singh, senior BJP leader LK Advani, Gopinath Munde and Sushma Swaraj among others, he added.

Phadanvis will be accompanied by his immediate predecessor Sudhir Mungattiwar and former party MP Banwarilal Purohit along with sitting BJP MLAs Sudhakar Deshmukh, Nana Patole and others.

BJP's alliance partner Shiv Sena is against formation of Vidarbha but Phadanvis has already wrested this initiative.

The party in its national executive committee meet in Bhubaneshwar in 1992 had passed a resolution for creation of separate Vidarbha. Now, it is supporting the formation of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.