Defends decision to split Uttar Pradesh; charges Congress with trying to side-track the issue
A day after her Cabinet approved the division of Uttar Pradesh into four parts, Chief Minister Mayawati sought on Wednesday to dispel the criticism that the decision was made with an eye on the Assembly elections.
Terming baseless the Opposition parties' charge that it was a poll gimmick, she said in a statement that the Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party stood against development.
The government, she said, was not constitutionally bound to get the proposal passed by the Cabinet and the legislature. The resolution to be passed by the Assembly would help to pressure the Central government. According to the Constitution, the Centre is empowered to bring in legislation on State reorganisation.
Ms. Mayawati said if the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government wanted the State to progress, it should have sought a presidential reference on the matter after getting the approval of the Union Cabinet. But it sat on her letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, demanding the reorganisation of the State. “Since the Central government did nothing for four-and-half years, the decision to table the proposal in the coming session of the Assembly (beginning) on November 21 was taken.”
She recalled that she first raised the division of the State at a public meeting in Lucknow on October 9, 2007. Thereafter, she sent a letter to the Prime Minister on March 15, 2008, for trifurcating the State into Purvanchal, Bundelkhand and Western Uttar Pradesh, and followed it up with a reminder.
Referring to the statement of Congress general secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh Digvijay Singh that he would urge the Centre to constitute a State Reorganisation Commission, Ms. Mayawati said it only showed that the Congress was trying to side-track the issue. She argued that his statement was misleading, as under Articles 3 and 4 of the Constitution, it was not legally binding on the Centre to constitute such a commission. In fact, the State Reorganisation Commission had no role in the formation of Uttarakhand, which was carved out of Uttar Pradesh under the Uttar Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2000.
“Mr. Singh's statement has shown that the Congress is against the reorganisation of the State and wants to place the issue in limbo, as has been the case with Telangana,” she said. The Congress did not want the development in the Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Avadh and Pashchim (western) regions.