Mumbai, Nov 5 (PTI) Shiv Sena today criticised Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for his remarks on Vidarbha, saying that instead of speaking about separate statehood, the BJP should concentrate on developing the region.

The Sena also reminded its former ally of the resounding mandate it got in Vidarbha and said the vote was in favour of development and not for a separate statehood.

“The BJP won handsomely in the Vidarbha region in the recently held Assembly elections. But they should not think they have got this mandate to divide Maharashtra. Separating Vidarbha from Maharashtra is like separating a child from its mother,” the Sena said in an editorial in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

“While on his first visit to Nagpur after becoming the CM, (Devendra) Fadnavis said that Vidarbha will be carved out at an appropriate time. Instead, he should have spoken about the development of the region. He should have spoken about empowering the security agencies in Naxal-hit areas like Gadchiroli and Chandrapur,” the Sena said.

The Sena said that instead of speaking about separation of Vidarbha, the BJP should concentrate on developing the region.

“When a CM who hails from Vidarbha talks about its separation, it is just like the protector of Maharashtra getting ready to become a perpetrator or wrongdoer,” it said.

It is “hypocrisy” on the part of BJP to now talk about carving out a separate state, when the same party had accused the Congress of making a mistake when it created Telangana from Andhra Pradesh, it said.

“We only hope that the ‘Fadnavis Express’ runs straight on the path of development of Vidarbha and does not wobble in between. The CM should working towards fulfilling the dreams of 105 martyrs who sacrificed their lives for ‘Akhand (united) Maharashtra,” the Sena said.