Nagpur: Hundreds of motorists entering or leaving Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh were surprised to find new colourful hoardings welcoming them to new 'states' of Vidarbha and Telangana on Saturday.
A group of slogan-shouting pro-Vidarbha and pro-Telangana activists erected the hoardings at the Kanyakumari-Varanasi National Highway 7, on the Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh borders, around 180 km from here.
"Let the government take its own time over the long-pending issue of Vidarbha. As far as we are concerned, we have symbolically created the new Vidarbha 'state' here today," Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) president Kishor Tiwari said over phone from the border area on Saturday evening.
The hoardings can be seen in Marathi and English with a map of Vidarbha region and in Telugu and English on the Telangana side, on the bridge of the Pen-Ganga river crisscrossing the state border here.
"Our agitation secured spontaneous and very enthusiastic support from the local villagers on both sides of the borders - 180 km from Nagpur and 325 km from Hyderabad," Tiwari claimed. Over two dozen activists of the proposed separate Telangana state were also present when the hoardings were put up.
Bouyed by the response, the VJAS now plans to erect 50 similar 'Welcome to Vidarbha' signboards at all the border points of Maharashtra with Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Karnataka in the next couple of days.
Besides this, it will put up similar hoardings at all important towns, villages, district borders and other prominent places in the region, Tiwari said.
He said that Saturday's action was in preparation of the proposed Vidarbha shutdown called by Vidarbha Nirman Sangram Samiti - an umbrella organisation of 68 political parties and pro-Vidarbha groups - next Wednesday, followed by the 180-km long, two-day march of over 250 farmers for a separate state.