Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis reserves his comments on the BJP MLA from Katol Ashish Deshmukh’s letter to the CM, requesting him to be the torchbearer of separate Vidarbha movement.
At the CM’s press conference at Ramgiri – his official residence in Nagpur – when a journalist asked Fadnavis about the letter that Deshmukh recently wrote to him and requested the CM to be a torchbearer for the cause of separate Vidarbha, Fadnavis quipped, “It (letter) reached the media before it reached me! I just received the letter. Let me go through it and only then I can comment.”
Deshmukh, who wrote a seven-page long letter to the CM on December 6, also appealed to the CM to take necessary steps to create a separate Vidarbha with the help of PM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah. The said letter was made public on December 10, on the eve of the beginning of the winter session of Maharashtra legislature in Nagpur.
Apart from separate Vidarbha request, Deshmukh in his letter, also expressed his concern over farmers’ suicides, increasing crime rate in Nagpur, rising unemployment, etc. Deshmukh previously too had batted for separate Vidarbha by opting for an indefinite hunger strike in 2013.
Ashish Deshmukh, who joined the BJP ahead of 2014 Maharashtra state elections, defeated his uncle Nationalist Congress Party leader and a former minister (in Prithviraj Chavan’s government) Anil Deshmukh to win the Katol seat in 2014 elections.
Ashish was in the news a while back, when in a public speech, this Maratha leader conveyed his wish of another Maratha leader and Maharashtra rural minister Pankaja Munde becoming the first woman CM of the state “at the opportune time.” Also, his recent remarks on the full loan waiver of the farmers’ loan was perceived as a dissent to Fadnavis by a few BJP leaders.
While Ashish Deshmukh’s father has been the president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (for two times), his brother Dr Amol Deshmukh is also a Congress leader.