Mumbai: Both houses of Maharashtra legislature were adjourned on Monday over the issue of a separate state of Vidarbha even as Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis categorically denied any such moves were on.
"There is no such proposal by the state or the Centre. Carving out smaller states is a subject handled by the Centre," Fadnavis asserted amidst noisy scenes and slogan-shouting by legislators of all opposition parties, besides Bharatiya Janata Party's ruling coalition partner Shiv Sena.
"It is the Centre's prerogative to decide on this and the state has no role. The state government is not considering this (Vidarbha) issue nor has any such proposal been sent to the Centre," Fadnavis said.
The Chief Minister came on the firing line of the Shiv Sena, the opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party besides other parties for the second time since Friday when the issue first rocked the legislature during the ongoing monsoon session.
Opposition leaders Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil (in the assembly) and Dhananjay Munde (in the council), and former Chief Ministers Narayan Rane and Prithviraj Chavan were among those who lashed out at the BJP-led government for not making its stance on the separate Vidarbha state issue clear and demanded Fadnavis's resignation.
"The Chief Minister says there is no plan for it (Vidarbha state). Then let's bring in a resolution for a unified Maharashtra. If he has any problem, we can do it, the Shiv Sena can do it," Chavan said -- a demand later voiced by Vikhe-Patil.
Shiv Sena's member of legislative council Neelam Gorhe and other party legislators shouted that they would not allow carving out a separate Vidarbha and waved a banner terming BJP's parliament member Nana Patole as "Shaikhchilli" for moving a resolution in the Lok Sabha last week, demanding Vidarbha state.
While Sena's member of assembly Prakash Abitkar asked Fadnavis to clarify his stand, Vikhe-Patil claimed it was a "fix" between the two ruling allies as the issue hotted up again after Friday.
Vikhe-Patil said Maharashtra was formed after the sacrifices of 105 martyrs in the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement and "the BJP has insulted the people of the state by making and backing the demands for a separate Vidarbha".