Mumbai, Mar 21: After calling for a referendum on the issue of carving out separate Vidarbha state, Maharashtra Advocate General Shreehari Aney has now espoused a separate Marathwada state, drawing flak from the opposition parties. “Marathwada bore more injustice than Vidarbha and should therefore be independent,” Aney said at an event in Jalna district yesterday. He also called people of Marathwada to start a movement for formation of a separate state. (Also Read: Marathwada Drought: 25 young women from Beed give up on marriage because of poverty)

As the state Assembly proceedings began today, the Opposition legislators created noisy scenes over Aney’s remarks, and sought his resignation. “Aney has made controversial remarks again,” Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said. State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said,”Is Aney an agent for dividing the state” When the controversy over Aney’s separate Vidarbha remarks erupted last year, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had indicated that there was no need for Aney’s resignation for his statement on Vidarbha, while stating that the subject of creating a separate state of Vidarbha falls solely in the jurisdiction of the Parliament and union government.

The Shiv Sena had staged demonstrations and demanded Aney’s resignation for his statement on a need for referendum to create a separate Vidarbha state. Fadnavis had said Aney made it clear that he had expressed his views in a private function and not as the Advocate General of the state. The CM had said Aney had made the statement during the release of book Vidarbha Gaatha, penned by Aney, on December 5, 2015 in Nagpur, and had sent the details of what he said during the programme. The AG had pointed out that many speakers expressed the need for a separate Vidarbha state, after which he said it was not proper that Vidarbha also should go the Telangana way with a violent agitation for separate statehood.