Maha Cong launch poll campaign, oppose separate statehood for Vidarbha

Launching the poll campaign for the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra, the Congress has opposed BJP's plan for a separate state for the Vidarbha region and has decided to expose 'false promises' made by the party during the Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress said it would also expose Modi government's ‘unsuccessful’ 100 days at the Centre and its divisive politics in the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly Elections.

 Maha Cong launch poll campaign, oppose separate statehood for Vidarbha

Representational image. AFP

"The BJP is trying to divide Maharashtra by supporting the demand of a separate state for the Vidarbha region. We will oppose it to keep Maharashtra undivided," said Narayan Rane, Maharashtra Industries Minister and Congress Poll Campaign Committee chief. He was addressing a gathering of party leaders and activists at Azad Maidan in Mumbai after launching the poll campaign of the party. Congress is the first party to launch a poll campaign in the state.

The poll campaign was launched by lighting a torch at Hutatma Chowk in South Mumbai on Monday morning. The torch will be sent across all districts of the state with a message of ‘undivided Maharashtra’ to oppose BJP’s plan. Hutatma Chowk holds historic significance as it derives its name from an incident in 1960 when a peaceful demonstration by Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti was fired upon by the police resulting in 105 deaths

So far, the Congress has not taken an official stand on statehood for Vidarbha. But the BJP has been trying to gain popularity by supporting the demand of a separate state. The BJP had won all the Lok Sabha seats in the region.

Speaking on the Lok Sabha election results, Rane said that the Congress had not countered the false promises made by the BJP during Lok Sabha elections. "It led to our defeat. Now, we must give a fitting reply to the allegations leveled by them. We are seeking votes after doing a great job in the last 15 years. The opposition is begging for votes without doing any work. We must tell people about the kind of work we have done," said Rane.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan slammed the BJP government at the Centre stating that it had made tall claims and had misled people during the Lok Sabha elections. "The BJP had claimed that it would bring ‘achche din’ but it has failed to do so. The Modi government’s 100 days at the Centre seems to be unsuccessful. The government’s funds are being used to promote Modi, who came to power through excessive advertisements and misleading people. If we reveal the true face of the Modi government I am sure the people will vote us back to power in the state," said Chavan.

He further alleged that the Modi government was also not coordinating with the state on various issues such as electricity. "Now, I heard that it is planning to launch ‘blood on call’ service, which we had launched it in January, 2014. The union government is copying our schemes but it must give the due credit to us," added Chavan.

Former chief minister and MP Ashok Chavan alleged that the BJP was playing divisive politics. "By supporting the separate statehood for Vidarbha, the BJP is planning to implement its hidden agenda to divide Maharashtra. It recently made controversial remarks on Sai Baba and is creating Hindu-Hindu and Hindu-Muslim communal rift," said Chavan.

Following the humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, Congress leaders had said that the party’s weak poll campaign compared to the campaign launched by Narendra Modi was one of the major factors for party's defeat. The state leadership is under tremendous pressure to perform in the upcoming assembly elections to retain power in the state.

Senior Congress leaders including MPCC president Manikrao Thakare, former CM Ashok Chavan, Sushil Kumar Shinde, industries minister and campaign committee Chief Narayan Rane, Harshvardhan Patil, Mukul Vasnik and other cabinet ministers were present during the launch.

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Updated Date: Sep 01, 2014 18:08:42 IST