Hyderabad: Union Minister Ramdas Athawale today reiterated his demand for separate Vidarbha state and said two new states should also be carved out of Uttar Pradesh.
"During agitation for separate statehood to Telangana, we supported it. And now separate Vidarbha state should be formed at the earliest. Our party and people are demanding for a separate state," he said.
"Similarly, two new states should be carved out of Uttar Pradesh," Athawale, who heads the Republican Party of India (A), said in Hyderabad.
He alleged, "There is no development in Vidarbha, whether it is industrial, irrigation or power (sector). We want separate Vidarbha state...Hindi speaking states have been divided and Telugu speaking states have been created. So why not in Maharashtra."
"(Maharashtra) Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union minister Nitin Gadkari are from Vidarbha. My party is also supporting the demand for separate Vidarbha state," he added.
On the ongoing reservation demand by various communities, the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment said that Marathas, Patels, Jats, Rajputs, Gujjars, Brahmins, Lingayats and others are demanding reservations but he is favour of quotas on the basis of the economic status.
"As the leader of RPI and the Minister of state for Social Justice, I support reservation for the economically backward sections among them," he said adding, a constitutional amendment should be made to provide 25 per cent quota to the poor among the upper castes.
"I will discuss with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and all other political parties in this regard. There will be no problem if a law in passed in Parliament taking overall reservation to 75 per cent," he said.
The minister also said there is a need to encourage inter-caste marriages in order to bring an end to casteism in the country.