Maharashtra: Prashant Kishor to guide Vidarbha statehood stir | Nagpur News

NAGPUR: The Vidarbha statehood issue, which got swept under the carpet after 2014, may get a new lease of life following the entry of political strategist Prashant Kishor.
On September 28, Kishor will attend a “closed door” meeting with pro-Vidarbha activists to guide them on how to take the statehood movement ahead.
Former MLA Ashish Deshmukh has been instrumental in bringing the in-demand strategist on board.
“In June, Telangana statehood anniversary celebrations were going on and that’s when I thought how to take our own statehood movement forward. You look at states like Chhattisgarh and Telangana, and that proves how well smaller states are performing,” Deshmukh said.
Vidarbha activist Pradeep Maheshwari said the economy would be more vibrant after separation as 25 lakh jobs could be created here. “Cotton and minerals can play a major role in attracting investments here,” Maheshwari said.
Deshmukh spoke to Kishor in June.
“I told him that so far you have been strategising about government formation, how about looking into state formation. Dealing in this new sphere must have appealed to Kishor, because he immediately agreed,” he said.
Kishor’s first did some research. “His team reached Vidarbha in July and visited every district here. They spoke to various people and gathered as much information as possible,” Deshmukh said.
A person closely involved with Kishor’s team said there were over 20 people who toured the district.
After a couple of months of on-field research and analysis, Kishor was ready. Last week, he spoke to around two dozen Vidarbha activists via video-conference.
Deshmukh said protests, fasts-unto-death, rasta roko, rail roko had all been done for statehood. “Through Kishor, we want to know what else or how differently we can do things,” he said.

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