Mumbai (The Hindu): A day after the Shiv Sena joined the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), to launch a scathing attack on the government over separate statehood for Vidarbha, the ruling alliance partner on Tuesday offered Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis a sigh of relief.
The Sena refused to sign a non-administrative resolution — The Assembly wholeheartedly supports united Maharashtra — to be brought in by the Congress-NCP, though its leader Eknath Shinde said his party will continue to oppose the division of the State.
According to sources, Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan even went on to call Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to convince him to sign the resolution.
But after holding two meetings with opposition leaders, the Sena announced that the party believes in the Chief Minister’s clarification to the house that the State has no such proposal. At the same time, it said it is ready to quit the government if attempts are made to carve out Vidarbha.
Earlier, Mr. Fadnavis said: “The Sena and the BJP have different positions as a party on this issue. We have never hid our stand in support of small states. But I repeat there is no such proposal on a separate Vidarbha before the government. I am the Chief Minister of united Maharashtra. I have clarified my government’s position.” He was replying to Leader of Opposition Radhakrisha Vikhe-Patil’s demand to bring in the resolution of united Maharashtra.
Later in the day, Mr. Chavan pointed out that it was the ruling BJP’s State unit chief Raosaheb Danve, who had promised of a separate Vidarbha. “Your party has made it a political issue, not we. How can one ignore the statements of the ruling party president? Hence it would be proper if the Assembly passed the resolution,” he said
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