To protect the unity and integrity of India, Article 3 of the Constitution vests the power to form new States in Parliament, which may pass the law on the subject.

Chief Minister Mayawati's announcement on carving four new States out of Uttar Pradesh will first have to be moved as an Assembly resolution. Once passed by the House, the State will forward it to the Centre.

There is no requirement that Parliament shall consider the Assembly resolution, though it is mandatory that the President initiate the procedure and it ends with Parliament passing the relevant Bill.

If the Centre accepts the State's recommendation, a Bill can be introduced in either House of Parliament on the recommendation of the President, which in fact means the recommendation of the Union government.

Before drafting the Bill, it is open to the Centre to appoint a Commission to fix boundaries and for sharing waters, providing other guarantees and location of capitals, High Courts and all other requirements of the States to be formed. It is only on receipt of a report of the Commission that the President may recommend the Bill, on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers.

Thereafter, the Bill will be referred to the U.P. Assembly for its view, consideration and ratification within a prescribed period. While such reference is mandatory, the President need not take a decision as per the opinion expressed by the Assembly. This means, even if there is opposition to the ‘referred Bill,' or such reference is not responded to within the prescribed time, or when such a Bill is approved, the President can go ahead with formation of a new State. However, it is a political requirement to build an opinion on the formation of a new State or States to prevail over the Union for fulfilling the aspirations of the people.

Four-step procedure

Article 3 provides the following procedure:

Presidential reference is sent to State Assembly.

After presidential reference, a resolution is tabled and passed in Assembly.

Assembly has to pass a Bill creating the new State/States.

A separate Bill has to be ratified by Parliament..

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