Mayawati wants to divide Uttar Pradesh into 4 states


Lucknow, Feb 27: The issue of dividing Uttar Pradesh has once again bounced back to the centre stage of state politics with Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief Mayawati raking up the issue that had been lying dormant in the polls till now.

“If Bahujan Samajwadi Party forms the government, it will not sit inactively…it will divide Uttar Pradesh into 4 smaller states, including Purvanchal, as proposed by the previous Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) government,” Mayawati had said in an election campaign in Gorakhpur.

Gorakhpur is the hub of eastern Uttar Pradesh or Purvanchal, the area which is considered to have lagged behind in signs of progress.

The election will take place to this area in the 6th and second last phase on March 4th.

Mayawati had passed a resolution in the Uttar Pradesh state Assembly towards the fag end of her government in 2011 to carve out Harit Pradesh (western UP), Poorvanchal (eastern UP), Bundelkhand and Awadh.

“Your under-developed districts can’t be developed till the creation of a separate state. Efforts in this direction will be stepped up if the Bahujan Samaj Party comes to power. This election, you need to punish the Congress, Bhartiya Janata Party and the Samajwadi Party, which have been opposing the creation of Purvanchal,”

-BSP Chief Mayawati.

The issue of division of the state UP  had been lying asleep till now with major political parties including the BSP preferring quiet so far.

Though there had been demands from different quarters, it was the Bahujan Samaj Party which had taken a concrete step in this direction by passing a resolution for division of Uttar Pradesh.

Mayawati, who has been a strong supporter of the issue, had also used it to corner the SP on development and law and order issues, maintaining that smaller states could be governed better.

Mayawati had first raised the separation issue way back in 2007.

BR Ambedkar, the Dalit icon and architect of the Constitution, by whose name Mayawati swears, had recommended division of UP in his book “Bhashayi Rajya”.

Both Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress had supported the resolution brought by Mayawati in the House.

But, as Mayawati lost power in 2012 and ended up with just 80 seats against 206 seats in 2007, her demand lost condensation and the issue surprisingly finds no mention in election manifestos of other parties or in speeches made by their leaders this time.

Earlier in 2009, amid the uncertainty over dividing Andhra Pradesh, Mayawati too shot off a letter to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arguing the demand of a divided Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, the ruling Samajwadi Party has been substantially opposing the division of Uttar Pradesh.

“Small and not feasible states will lead to Naxal activity and expose the nation’s sensitive borders,” Mulayam Singh Yadav, the SP Chief had said clarifying his stand at the time, as reported by NDTV.

The Indian National Congress has remained non-committal since then, sidestep the debate and laying out a clear stand in this.

With PTI Inputs