Division move springs from fear of defeat: Congress

The Opposition parties have condemned as a political stunt Chief Minister Mayawati's proposal to split Uttar Pradesh into four States of Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Avadh Pradesh and Pashchim Pradesh.

Questioning her intentions, Pradesh Congress Committee chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi and Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tiwari told a press conference here on Tuesday that since Ms. Mayawati felt that her Bahujan Samaj Party would not return to power in next year's Assembly elections she proposed the division.

The Congress was not against creation of small States. But, the CLP leader said, the Second State Reorganisation Commission should be formed to look into the modalities of carving out smaller States. He said the creation of Purvanchal and Bundelkhand could create problems as some regions fell within Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.

Mr. Tiwari pointed out that in 2007 two Congress members in the Vidhan Sabha — Vivek Singh and Pradeep Jain (now Union Minister of State for Rural Development) — had moved a proposal for creation of a State of Bundelkhand by incorporating seven districts. But the Mayawati government opposed the move.

The Rashtriya Lok Dal had also moved a proposal for formation of Harit Pradesh (western U.P.), he said.

The Samajwadi Party described the Chief Minister's proposal as a political gimmick, and said she was trying to mislead the people. Splitting Uttar Pradesh into four units would not serve the purpose of development, said State unit president Akhilesh Yadav.

SP chief and former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh had always opposed the move to divide U.P. Mr. Yadav said.

“Diversionary move”

The Bharatiya Janata Party said the proposal was a bid to divert the people's attention from the “jungle raj, misgovernment, corruption and all-round failure of the Mayawati regime.”

The Chief Minister had been silent for four-and-a-half years and now proposed the division with the polls round the corner, State BJP president Surya Pratap Shahi told journalists.

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