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Ashish Deshmukh to begin indefinite fast for Vidarbha on Dec 6

Aashish Deshmukh

Ashish Deshmukh will observe an indefinite hunger strike here from December 6 for the cause of a separate Vidarbha state

Aashish DeshmukhNagpur: Youth leader and Vidarbha Joint Action Committee convener Ashish Deshmukh will observe an indefinite hunger strike here from December 6 for the cause of a separate Vidarbha state.

“It’s now or never situation. If we fail to force the Union government to consider Vidarbha along with Telangana now, the people here may not get another chance at least in near future,” said Ashish, son of former Maharashtra agriculture minister and PCC president Ranjeet Deshmukh.

Ashish, also the founder of Youth for Vidarbha State, said the process for creation of Telangana state and that of Vidarbha be clubbed.

“The first States Re-organization Commission headed by Justice Fazal Ali had recommended creation of Vidarbha as well as Telangana in 1956. So, ideally creation of both states should be considered simultaneously,” Ashish said, referring to Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s announcement that the bill for creation of Telangana will be introduced during the winter session of Parliament.

Ashish said, Telugu leader Potti Sri Ramulu, who died while on fast in 1952 for creation of Telugu-speaking state was the first “martyr” to lay down his life for creation of a separate state.

“Andhra Pradesh was the first linguistic state to be created post-Independence. It was created on October 1, 1953 much before the Fazal Ali panel was even set up for creation of linguistic states. Potti Sri Ramulu was the first martyr for the cause of a separate state,” Ashish said.

He said Sri Ramulu’s “martyrdom” galvanized people and then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who announced formation of Andhra Pradesh on December 19, 1952. The state was formally created on October 1, 1953.

Ashish said the UPA government was now in a hurry for creation of Telangana for “deriving a political mileage”.

Ashish said he would be submitting thousands of petitions and letters in support of Vidarbha state to Congress MP Vilas Muttemwar and request him to hand them over to party president Sonia Gandhi during her visit to city on November 21.

PTI

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