Lucknow: The issue of division of Uttar Pradesh has once again bounced back to the centre stage of state politics with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati raking up the issue that had been lying dormant in the polls till now.
“If BSP forms government, it will not sit idle...it will divide UP into four smaller states, including Purvanchal, as proposed by the previous BSP government," Mayawati had said at an election meeting in Gorakhpur.
Gorakhpur is the hub of eastern UP or Purvanchal, the area which is considered to have lagged behind in development.
Polling will take place in this area in the sixth and penultimate phase on 4 March. Mayawati had passed a resolution in the UP Assembly towards the fag end of her government in 2011 to carve out Harit Pradesh (western UP), Poorvanchal (eastern UP), Bundelkhand and Awadh.
“Your under-developed district can’t be developed till the creation of a separate state. Efforts in this direction will be stepped up if the BSP comes to power. This election, you need to punish the Congress, BJP and SP, which have been opposing creation of Purvanchal," Mayawati had said on Sunday.
Also read | UP elections 2017 live: Over 40% polling till 2pm, SP-Congress sinking, says Modi
The issue of division of Uttar Pradesh had been lying dormant till now with major political parties including the BSP preferring silence so far. Though there had been demands from different quarters, it was the BSP which had taken a concrete step in this direction by passing a resolution for division of UP.
Mayawati, who has been a strong supporter of the issue, had also used it to corner the Samajwadi Party (SP) on development and law and order issues, maintaining that smaller states could be governed better. She had first raised the issue way back in 2007.
Dalit icon BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution, by whose name Mayawati swears, had recommended division of Uttar Pradesh in his book “Bhashayi Rajya". Both BJP and Congress had supported the resolution brought by Mayawati in the House.
But, as Mayawati lost power in 2012 and ended up with just 80 seats against 206 seats in 2007, her demand lost steam and the issue surprisingly finds no mention in manifestos of other parties or in speeches made by their leaders this time.