The Indian National Congress was pledged to linguistic
states, but the States Re-organisation Committee recommended a
bi-lingual state for Maharashtra-Gujarat, with Mumbai as its capital.
Its inauguration on November 1, 1956, caused a great political
stir and, under the leadership of Keshavrao Jedhe, an all-party
meeting was held in Pune and Samyukta Maharashtra Samiti was founded
on February 6, 1956. In the second general election the Samiti
defeated the stalwarts of Congress by securing 101 seats out of
133, including 12 from Mumbai. The Congress could form a government
only with the support of Gujarat, Marathwada and Vidarbha. Yeshwantrao
Chavan became the first Chief Minister of the bi-lingual Bombay
SM Joshi, SA Dange, NG Gore and PK Atre fought
relentlessly for Samyukta Maharashtra, even at the cost of sacrificing
the lives of several people and finally succeeded in convincing
Congress leaders that Maharashtra should form a separate state.
The resignation of CD Deshmukh, the then Finance Minister of the
Nehru Cabinet, had its salutary effect, and on May 1, 1960, the
state of Maharashtra, which included western Maharashtra, Vidarbha
and Marathwada was born with the blessings of Pandit Jawaharlal
Thus, in 1960 the historical process of formation
of this Marathi State from Mo-ho-lo-cha to Maharashtra was completed.
The new Maharashtra conforms to the image recorded by Hiun Tsang,
the Chinese pilgrim, more than 1,300 years ago.