It will comprise 5 Assembly segments of Amethi constituency

The Uttar Pradesh government on Thursday created a new district, Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar, named after the social reformer from Maharashtra.

To be carved out of Sultanpur and Rae Bareli districts, the new district loosely corresponds to the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, represented by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi. Formerly a town and nagar panchayat of Sultanpur district, Amethi, in its new avatar, becomes the State's 72nd district.

The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Mayawati. It also approved the renaming of Kanpur Dehat district as Rama Bai (Ambedkar) Nagar district.

Gauriganj, an Assembly segment of the Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, will serve as the headquarters of Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar.

However, an official release announcing the decision was silent on Amethi being renamed as Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar district; it only stated that the new district would have an area of 3,070 sq. km. and comprise 5 tehsils, 16 development blocks, 17 police stations and 401 lekhpal areas.

An official spokesman said the exercise was carried out at the directive of the Allahabad High Court. The notification for creating Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaja Nagar district was issued by the Mayawati government on May 21, 2003, but it was revoked by the Mulayam Singh government through a notification of November 13, 2003.

Following this, a writ petition (Uma Shanker Pandey versus the government of Uttar Pradesh) was filed in the High Court. The court on March 26, 2010 asked the petitioner to move the State government within a week. It also wanted the government to take a decision within three months, the release stated.

Given that the census is under way, it has been said the decision to create the new district was taken to meet the deadline set by the court. The government has promised that the census work will not be disturbed, and the Registrar-General of Census Operations will be informed of the decision.

Significantly, the new district will incorporate the entire Amethi Lok Sabha constituency, considered the Gandhi family's political borough. In fact, the three Assembly segments of Amethi — Gauriganj, Jagdishpur and Amethi — are in Sultanpur district, while the two others — Jais and Salon — are in Rae Bareli.