Under attack for favouring a separate Marathwada state, Maharashtra Advocate General Shreehari Aney today resigned but ruled out any apology asserting that he stood by his view.
Aney, appointed as AG by the Fadnavis Government last year, submitted his resignation to Governor C Vidyasagar Rao after his remarks generated a huge controversy with the opposition Congress and NCP and ruling partner Shiv Sena crying foul over it besides causing distress within the state BJP.
Aney, however, drew support from sections in the Congress from Vidarbha as he had earlier called for a referendum on carving out a separate state for the region.
Shortly after Aney put in his papers, Fadnavis told the legislature that the government would ask the Governor to accept his resignation.
Later, Aney told PTI, “I stand by my statement that the demand for a separate Vidarbha has to be considered. With reference to Marathwada, there is a long road ahead because a movement has to be built before it can happen.”
On the Opposition parties’ demand seeking an apology from him, he said, “I am not apologising. Let them do what they think.”
“If the post of AG is the price I have to pay for the creation of Vidarbha, it is a very cheap price,” he said.
At an event in Jalna district of Marathwada on Sunday, Aney had said, “Marathwada bore more injustice than Vidarbha and should therefore be independent. Pressure has to be put at the Delhi level to form a separate state as the demand does not come under the purview of Mumbai.”
Apart from the Congress-NCP opposition, Shiv Sena had yesterday moved separate motions in the Assembly seeking Aney’s dismissal.
Taking strident stand against him over the issue, Sena had even threatened that it would boycott Cabinet meetings if Aney was not sacked.
With the issue snowballing into a major controversy, Fadnavis had yesterday sent signals that Aney would be stepping down.
Aney drew support from an unexpected quarter with prominent Congress leaders from Vidarbha Vilas Muttemwar and Nitin Raut endorsing his view.