More on Mayawati's UP division proposal

What looks like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's wild card might turn out be her trump card.The Telangana heat has enabled her to grab a chance to score political points against her main political adversaries in UP. In one stroke she has countered AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and RLD president Ajit Singh by supporting the demands of separate states in UP. The situation that emerged out of her vocal demands for the separate states has left rival parties in a quandary -while the Congress has few options than reiterating its stand in favour of the creation of smaller states, SP chief Mulayam Singh cannot go beyond a certain limit to oppose Mayawati's demands despite his party's clear stand against the division of UP. The BJP is apparently in a state of confusion over her demands for the separate states in UP because of the party's stand against further division of Madhya Pradesh to pave the way for Bundelkhand.
What is important is that Mayawati's name never prominently figured with the demands for the creation of smaller states before her victory in the 2007 Assembly elections. "But she never opposed such demands and remained a silent supporter of smaller states," recalled RLD MLA Kokab Hamid who had moved a resolution in the Assembly seeking the creation of Harit Pradesh about six years ago. After the formation of her current government, Mayawati spoke in favour of the division of UP into smaller states. In October 2007, she had publicly supported the demand for the creation of Purvanchal and even tried to make it an election plank during her campaign in the last Lok Sabha elections.
BSP leaders have several justifications for Mayawati's support for the creation of smaller states. "She is known for creating small districts and tehsils. So one can understand her sentiment for the creation of smaller states," felt one BSP MLA. As things stand today, Mayawati has nothing to lose in this political game. "Her actual stand over the division of the state would be known in the coming Assembly session," said an MLA representing an Assembly constituency in eastern UP.According to him, if Mayawati allows debate over the creation of new states in the House, it means she is serious about the issue.
Incidentally, it's not the BSP that took the initiative in raising the issue of separate states in the Assembly. "I, along with Union minister Pradeep Aditya Jain who was then MLA from Jhansi had requested the Speaker to take up the matter of the creation of Bundelkhand under Rule 109. The debate over this issue is still pending. If the CM really wants to see a separate Bundelkhand, she should get the resolution passed in both Houses of the state," said Congress MLA Vivek Singh, who represents Banda Assembly seat.
Similarly, it was Congress MLA from Naugarh, Ishwar Chandra Shukla, who moved a resolution seeking creation of a separate Purvanchal."Her support for Purvanchal is nothing but a political stunt. I had moved the resolution in the last session of the Assembly in 2007. I had included 27 districts of eastern UP for creating Purvanchal," said Shukla. UPCC spokesperson Subodh Srivastava also rejected Mayawati's demands for carving out smaller states in UP. "Had she seriously taken up the issue in 2007, the resolution for the division of the state would have been passed in the House," he said.
Sources in the BSP said Mayawati stands a good chance to woo the traditional SP voters of eastern UP in the name of a separate Purvanchal. "If the Samajwadi Party's base shrinks in eastern UP, it would be a benefit of the BSP. The Congress is gradually restoring its base in this area. In the last Lok Sabha election, major success came for the Congress from eastern UP," reasoned one BSP source. As per the BSP's assessment, the SP has no base in Jat-dominated western UP. "So she would love to see polarisation of votes between her and Ajit Singh's RLD in western UP by supporting the demands for the Harit Pradesh," the BSP source further explained.

PURVANCHAL Although the demand for the creation of a separate Purvanchal state is more than four decade old, it has never been a people's campaign. Reason: different organisations that raised the voice for Purvanchal could not join a single platform to polarise people in support of the separate state.Leaders & organisations UP's former planning minister Shatrudra Prasad, former Union minister Kalpnath Roy, Shyamdhra Mishra, Satya Prakash Malviya and Shyam Lal Yadav demanded the separate state under the banner of Purvanchal Banao Manch (PBM), which was formed on November 3, 1996 and is active in Varanasi region. Another organisation, Purvanchal Rajya Sthapana Samitee (PRSS), has been active in Gorakhpur region. P K Lahiri, PRSS convener, said the organisation had approached Gandhian leader Subba Rao to support the demand. A political party, Purvanchal Banao Dal, was launched in 1994. "It fields candidates during elections," said Lahiri.

BUNDELKHAND The struggle for a separate Bundelkhand is more than two decade old. Although there are smaller organisations in favour of the demand, it is the Bundelkhand Mukti Morcha (BMM), headed by the actor Raja Bundela, that has been raising the voice of the separate state for 20 years.Leaders & organisations "Shankar Lal Mehrotra of Jhansi founded the BMM in 1989," recalled a source in Jhansi. After Mehrotra's death, it was politician Viral Bhai Patel who took the command of the BMM. Raja Bundela is associated with the BMM for more than one decade.After the Telanagana heat, Bundela revived the movement by taking out a 300-km padyatra from Kamnath temple in Chitrakoot district, UP , to Khajuraho in MP . At a recent press conference, he claimed that in 1948, princely states had signed a treaty with the Government of India which had agreed that they would constitute a single state, governed by the common legislature, executive and judiciary, and that he had obtained a copy of the treaty.Besides BMM, Bundelkhand Ekikrit Party, Bundeli Party, Bundelkhand Gana Parishad and Bundelkhand Rajya Sangharsh Samitee have been demanding a separate state.

HARIT PRADESH OR PASCHIMANCHAL The demand for Harit Pradesh is more than a decade old. Sources in the BSP said Mayawati had supported the demand 12 years back at a public meeting in Mathura.Leaders & organisations Rashtriya Lok Dal, headed by Ajit Singh, has been raising the demand for the state both among the people and inside the Assembly. According to RLD MLA Kokab Hamid: "It was former PM Charan Singh who had demanded the creation of separate Harit Pradesh before the State Reorganisation Committee in 1953. He was accompanied by nine MLAs. In 1955, the State Reorganisation Committee had nodded for the division of UP into two parts. So, we won't take rest before getting our demand fulfilled."
SONANCHAL There is also a demand for the creation of Sonanchal comprising Mirzapur, Sonbhadra and Chandauli.Leaders & organisations: In 2005, Sonanchal Sangharsh Samiti had organized meetings in support of the demand. This organisation is headed by Hariram Chero.

Talks begin on Gorkhaland too.I frankly think smaller states if better governed make a lot of sense.

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Recently introduced Right to Education (RTE) act which has been taken well by people in all spheres and a step in the right direction by the central government has been taken with petulance by Uttar Pradesh chief minister, Mayawati.