Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Wednesday reiterated her demand of dividing Uttar Pradesh into four parts as she welcomed the creation of Telangana. However, her comments drew sharp criticism from the major parties.
Stating that the BSP "has always supported smaller states" Ms. Mayawati said UP should be divided into four smaller units: Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Awadh Pradesh and Paschim Pradesh.
"Ministers in the Centre who hail from UP should build pressure on the Central Government for formation of these states," Ms. Mayawati said. She also voiced her support for other separate state movements like Gorkhaland and Vidarbha.
The Bharatiya Janata Party dismissed Mayawati's statement as a political gimmick. "The party (BJP) is in favour of small states but against how Mayawati plans to divide the state. A state reorganization committee should be formed and hold discussions on economic and developmental issues. If needed, then we can go through with it," BJP spokesperson Vijay Bahadur Pathak told The Hindu.
The Samajwadi Party also launched an attack on Mayawati's proposal and stated that it was against any division of the State. "Mayawati is not a strong enough leader to rule over a state as big as UP, so she is trying to divide it into small parts. We are against it. We do not believe in dividing the country any further," SP general secretary Ram Asray Khushwaha told this Correspondent.
The Congress also lashed out at Mayawati for making demands that "suited only selfish interests."
"The demands are being made only by those with selfish political interests. There are no demands for division by the people. Uttarakhand has already been carved out of the State. At this stage, further division is not needed. Only when the people demand, we can think over it. Even Telangana was created after a sustained movement," said Congress party spokesperson Dwijendra Tripathi.
However, Mayawati is not the only leader who supports carving out new states from UP. Union Minister Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has also stepped up its demand for Harit Pradesh, to be carved out from western UP.
In an interview to a Hindi daily, Mr. Singh said: "Western UP contributes to 72 percent of the State's total income. In turn, just 18 percent of the budget is spent on its development. This makes the people of the area dissatisfied."