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Poll Strategist Prashant Kishor To Guide Separate Vidarbha Movement

Election strategist Prashant Kishor has accepted an assignment to revive the decades-old movement to demand a separate Vidarbha state. He will be visiting Nagpur at the end of the month to begin his homework. His teams have already started collating data useful for framing a forceful argument in support of the demand. Former Congress MLA Ashish Deshmukh has invited Prashant to give direction to the movement that began even before India gained independence. Over the years, the popularity of the protagonists went on waning, finally the movement going into oblivion. With the entry of Prashant, the movement organisers hope to infuse a new life into it. Vidarbha in general and Nagpur in particular are a point of political prestige since the headquarters of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is based in the second capital of Maharashtra. With the exception of the 1989 Lok Sabha election, the BJP was never able to win the Nagpur seat till Nitin Gadkari trounced his Congress opponent in 2014 with a huge margin and repeated his victory in 2019. The BJP was the first major political party to resolve the creation of a separate Vidarbha state. However, it kept the issue in cold storage as its then electoral partner, the Shiv Sena, was opposed to the demand, pressing for a united Maharashtra.