YAVATMAL: Upping his ante again for separate Vidarbha, former Maharashtra Advocate General, Shrihari Aney today invoked B R Ambedkar for carving out smaller states and alleged "vested interests" were spreading "disinformation" about the issue.
"Babasaheb Ambedkar in his book 'Thoughts of Linguistic States' had advocated four smaller states out of Maharashtra, namely Vidarbha, Marathwada, Konkan and Mumbai," he said while addressing a pro-Vidarbha rally organised under the aegis of 'Vidarbha Rajya Aghadi'.
Aney recently stepped down as AG after his controversial remark on statehood for Marathwada evoked sharp reactions cutting across party lines, leaving the BJP-Sena led state government embarrassed.
In his speech, Aney blamed the "vested interest in western Maharashtra for spreading disinformation about Vidarbha statehood issue".
"It (Vidarbha) was a part of CP & Berar and a resolution was unanimously passed in the CP & Berar Assembly for the statehood of Vidarbha in 1948," he said, adding Vidarbha region was merged with Mumbai state on November 1, 1954.
"We have Vidarbha identity. Maharashtra has no right to deny statehood to Vidarbha," he said.
Aney had earlier demanded a referendum for creation of Vidarbha, inviting the wrath of Shiv Sena.
He said the Foundation Day of Maharashtra, which falls on May 1, would be observed as "black day" by pro-Vidarbha activists and that Vidarbha flag will be hoisted all over the region in east Maharashtra.
"We have to build pressure on BJP-led Central government. I feel next three years are crucial for Vidarbha movement," Aney said.
He added the poll manifesto of BJP would be set on fire on Maharashtra Day to "express anguish" over non-fulfillment of promise of creating separate Vidarbha.