Contending that the demand for Vidarbha was over 120 years old, former Union Minister Vilas Muttemwar said that even the British administration had in 1888 recommended formation of a separate state.
Muttemwar said that in 1996 a Congress delegation comprising Working Committee members and the All India Congress Committee general secretaries had petitioned the then Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda for creation of separate Vidarbha.
He has also annexed a copy of the 1996 letter written by party veteran Vasant Sathe in his appeal to Gandhi. It was signed by Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Mukul Wasnik, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Meira Kumar Balram Jakhar, K Karunakaran, late Sudhakarrao Naik, late N K P Salve, among others.
Various authorities and committees set up by the government and the Congress party had studied and recommended creation of a separate Vidarbha state, Muttemwar said, making it clear that his demand was neither new nor a knee-jerk reaction to the developments relating to Telangana.
"Unlike Telangana, we do not want to resort to violence and destruction to prove the seriousness of our demand," he said but warned that the people of the region would go to any possible extent to fight for their rights without considering the consequences.