Ashish Deshmukh bats for carving separate Vidarbha
Nagpur: A separate Vidarbha could have prevented large number of suicides by farmers in the region as government and its machinery could have reached the distressed lot well in time and rescued them from crisis, according to youth leader and son of former Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Ranjeet Deshmukh.
"Suicides by thousands of farmers from Vidarbha region in the state has brought not only disrepute to Maharashtra but also showed the imbalance of growth and farm economics of region as compared other developed regions of the state," Ashish Deshmukh said.
The development of Vidarbha as an independent state could have been possible by tackling financial backlog and setting up and promoting agro-based industries in Vidarbha, Ashish, who is an independent, said.
Another menace of Naxalism is also linked to the backwardness of region but the state government has dubbed it as a law and order problem. There is an urgent need for tackling the issue on priority basis and on regional level but again if Vidarbha is curved out of Maharashtra, it can be effectively handled, he said.
Deshmukh has revived the peaceful agitation for Vidarbha by launching his a `padyatra` from city to Sewagram Ashram which will culminate with `Satyagrah` tomorrow on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi`s birth anniversary near Bapu Kuti.
He said about 75 percent of the rural population in the region depends on agriculture for their livelihood with 55 lakh hectares of land available but a meagre 10 lakh hectares is irrigated, leaving rain dependent farmers in lurch. They produce only one crop in a year during rains.
He alleged that during last 53 years, funds allocated for irrigation have been diverted. Though Vidarbha is known as cotton belt and has oranges, rice and soyabean as other major crop but farmers don`t get adequate prices and neither has agro based industries.
The state government has made no serious efforts to increase yield, quality, marketing, branding, ware housing and cold-storage for it, Deshmukh an engineering and management graduate, alleged.
He said when a smaller state like Chhattisgarh, carved out 13 years back can prosper than why not Vidarbha which has all the necessary infrastructure and facility.
What better time than now when the UPA government was all set to create Telengana state, to also take up separate Vidarbha case, he added.
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