Former Advocate General and the founder president of Vidarbha Rajya Aghadi (ViRA) Shreehari Aney declared the names of five of the prospective ViRA candidates for upcoming municipal elections in Vidarbha during a recent press conference. He was addressing the city journalists at ‘Meet the Press’ organised jointly by Nagpur Union of Working Journalist (NUWJ) and Tilak Patrakar Bhavan Trust (TPBT).
Aney started his address by saying, “Nagpur’s few senior journalists recently told me that I might have committed a mistake by launching ViRA (Vidarbha Rajya Aghadi) because the difficulties faced by the party would be more than the achievements. I explained to them my reasons for launching the party. Also, according to me, politicisation of the Vidarbha issue and its impact has to be explained to the people because most people don’t know why politics is needed for the formation of a separate Vidarbha. And, this is the reason why we formed our party – ViRA.”
“Despite such huge movements for Vidarbha and the fact that BJP got elected because it had promised us a separate Vidarbha, why isn’t a separate Vidarbha still not formed?” Aney asked the journalists, adding, “We have to politicise the Vidarbha movement to mount pressure on the government by becoming a threat to the Central and the State government.”
Speaking about the recent silent Maratha protest and the Gujarat protests, Aney said that these protests failed to make a mark amongst the people and the end results are zero even today. “We have been listening since 60 years that a separate Vidarbha would be formed but to no avail. We must realise that movements are always short term. The movement for Telangana succeeded; 1500 youth sacrificed their lives. Likewise, even Jharkhand was declared as a separate state. So, we are going to make ViRA a political force so that our demand for a separate Vidarbha is fulfilled,” said Aney.
“Anna Hazare is a big man but still he couldn’t eradicate corruption. Leaders like Loknayak Bapuji Aney and Brijlal Biyani fought for separate Vidarbha during Sanyukta Maharashtra agitation. But, their movement couldn’t be fruitful, as other politicians didn’t pay much heed to the issue because it was non-political in nature. Jambuwantrao Dhote, under the aegis of political party ‘Forward Block,’ had successfully conducted a separate Vidarbha movement, but due to some reasons, even he couldn’t create a separate Vidarbha. Various social organisations like Janmanch Vidarbha Rajya Andolan Samiti and political parties like ViRA, Republican Party of India (RPI), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) too carried out their separate Vidarbha movements but the government didn’t really acknowledge their movements. So, now all the pro-Vidarbha political parties and social organisations will come together for the agenda of a separate Vidarbha,” he said.
He concluded the press conference by declaring the names of five ViRA members who would be contesting the upcoming local body elections of Municipal Councils across Vidarbha cities in February 2017. Following are the five shortlisted names:
→Prof Sanjay Wankhede (Arvi)
→Sitaram Bhute (Hinganghat)
→Chailbihari Agrawal (Gondia)
→Mohan Chaudhari (Wardha)
→Jayshree Bhaskar (Sakoli)