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BSP passes resolution to split UP, triggers opposition protest

Monday November 21, 2011 10:00:12 PM, IANS

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Uttar Pradesh cabinet decides to divide state into four

In a move that Chief Minister Mayawati said was inspired by B.R. Ambedkar, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet Tuesday decided to divide the state into four: Purvanchal, Pashcim Pradesh, Bundelkhand and Awadh Pradesh. While  

Parties term Uttar Pradesh split a political stunt

Lucknow: In a political sleight of hand, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati Monday managed to get a resolution for division of Uttar Pradesh - the country's most populous and politically consequential state - into four smaller states passed by voice vote in the state assembly within the space of a few minutes, taking advantage of the uproar created by the opposition against the move.

The move elicited strong opposition from arch rival Samajwadi Party (SP) and a cautious response from the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Chief Minister Mayawati told a hastily convened press conference later that she had done her bit and her government will soon send the resolution to the centre "after which it would be their responsibility to get it passed by the parliament." She said this was being done as governance of the huge state had become "unwieldy".

But the move is still a long way off from attaining reality as the central government will have to take a view before passing it to parliament, and both are unlikely to be in any hurry to oblige her, given the political implications of the move and its impact on such demands in other parts of the country, particularly the movement for a separate state of Telangana that the government has been stalling.

Mayawati said the opposition was trying to paint a false picture that her government was in a minority and it had passed vote on account.

The resolution was passed amid stormy scenes in the house. As soon as it assembled for the day at 11 a.m., the opposition raised slogans against the Mayawati regime and demanded ouster of the government, which led Speaker Sukhdeo Rajhbhar to adjourn the proceedings for an hour.

As soon as the house re-assembled at 12.20 p.m., the opposition once again resorted to slogan shouting, and taking advantage of it, Mayawati herself tabled the resolution. She quickly read out the brief resolution seeking division of Uttar Pradesh into four states - Purvanchal, Paschim Pradesh, Avadh Pradesh and Bundelkhand - and within the next two minutes, the speaker declared it passed by a voice vote, which again remained inaudible in the din that prevailed.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma used the fast-track route to get two other key resolutions passed by the house. The first was the vote on account for government expenditures for the remaining 17 weeks of fisccal 2011-12. and another for adjournment of the house sine die, which was passed with unprecedented rapidity.

On Nov 15, the chief minister had first announced the move to divide the state, saying only a division could solve the problems and remove the inherent imbalances.

Explaining the rationale behind the move, she had said "Uttar Pradesh is the country's most populous state with the population shooting up to nearly 20 crore (200 million), which means that 16 percent of the country's population lives. It also has a gigantic area of 240,000 sq km and that is what makes it unwieldy."

However, constitutional experts said the division of the state can take place only after several other steps were taken, including the approval by union government and later by the parliament.

They said that procedures that were still to be followed include resolution being sent to the union government which, if it agrees, table a fresh draft in parliament.

If the parliament adopts the resolution as a Constitutional amendment, it will be sent back to Uttar Pradesh government for the final passage and ratification.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav lambasted Mayawati for pressing a resolution in the assembly, saying she had made the move to divert attention from charges of corruption dogging her regime.

Yadav made it clear that his party will oppose in parliament any demand for division of the state.

BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi blamed the Mayawati government of trying to cover its "sins" through such announcements.

Law Minister Salman Khurshid said that decision of division of a state had long-term implications and has to be taken "after adequate consultation".

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said Mayawati had not held discussions on the vital issue. "Also, it is done when just three months are left for election. What can be said? People of Uttar Pradesh are not fools," he said.

Amar Singh's Rashtriya Lokmanch and the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), which is pushing for a separate Telangana state, welcomed Mayawati government's move.





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