Lucknow, Nov. 15: The Mayawati government will bring an Assembly resolution next week to carve up Uttar Pradesh into four states with the chief minister saying the states large size made it difficult to administer.
The move for the formation of three new states — Poorvanchal, Bundelkhand and Paschim Pradesh — came a day after Rahul Gandhi suggested poor growth and lack of opportunities in the BSP-ruled Uttar Pradesh had triggered large-scale migration and forced its people to beg on the streets of Maharashtra.
My party and ministry believe smaller states will lead to greater development and it will be easier to ensure better law and order as well, Mayawati told reporters today after her cabinet cleared the move.
The chief minister pointed out that Uttar Pradesh had over 19 crore people, according to the latest census, or around 16 per cent of the countrys total population.
The exact boundaries of the proposed states were not outlined. Bundelkhand is proposed to include swathes of neighbouring Madhya Pradesh.
The truncated state, mainly comprising areas around Lucknow or erstwhile Awadh, will be renamed Awadh Pradesh and the name Uttar Pradesh will cease to exist if the plan goes through.
The resolution will be tabled in the Assembly on November 21, the chief minister said. BSP sources said getting the resolution passed would not be a problem as the party has over 215 legislators in the 401-member House.
After the Assembly resolution goes through, both Houses of Parliament need to clear a constitutional amendment bill, followed by a split of resources and administrative staff in a process to be overseen by the Union home ministry.
Such resolutions are not binding on Parliament, though, and there have been instances of states having cleared proposals for a split but the Centre not following it up.
Some of Mayawatis rivals who back the call for the three new states have accused her backing the idea in principle but doing little else.
Ajit Singhs Rashtriya Lok Dal has been demanding a state in western Uttar Pradesh, Bundelkhand leaders have been doing so in their areas and former Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh has campaigned for Poorvanchal in the states east.
But Mayawatis key rival, the Samajwadi Party, has been opposed to any more splits since 2000 when Uttarakhand was carved out. Today, party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav stuck to the line. Any more division will result in destroying the culture and legacy of Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress dubbed the announcement a political stunt. It was just a political stunt. We insist that the State Reorganisation Commission be reconstituted, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the partys state unit chief, said.
The BJP also derided the move as an election stunt to shore up her dwindling prospects. It is a false assurance because the chief minister knows fully well it will not materialise. States are not created in a jiffy, spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said in Delhi.
The BJP has always advocated smaller states but in this case, it sought to make a distinction with its avowed commitment to carving Telangana out of Andhra. A small state is not just a geographical notion. The demand for Telangana has a long history and we are deeply engaged in its creation, said Javadekar.
Underlying the BJPs wariness is an assessment that the caste equations re-engineered by the new entities might not work entirely to its advantage, as they have in Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, sources said. The three states were formed under the aegis of the BJP-led NDA.