Vadodara: Gujarat Government on Monday announced the creation of a new district, Chhota Udepur, a decision seen as an attempt by the BJP government to woo tribals ahead of the Assembly election.
Chief Minister Narendra Modi announced the formation of the new district amidst cheers from thousands of tribals who had gathered for a rally, `Aadijati Mahasammelan, here.
Chhota Udepur, a tribal-dominated taluka, is currently part of Vadodara district.
The new district will come into existence on January 13, 2013. A committee headed by Chief Secretary A K Joti will take a decision on inclusion of talukas in Chhota Udepur district, Modi said.
This is the second announcement of formation of a new district in Gujarat in the last one month. Modi had earlier declared Gir-Somnath will be carved out as a separate district from Junagadh. Once they come into existence on January 13, the number of districts in Gujarat will go up to 28.
Creation of new districts will ensure that people will not have to travel long hours to get their work done, Modi said.
Addressing a tribal rally in June at Bodeli town, Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela had promised that Chhota Udepur will be elevated to district status if his party is voted to power.
Naranbhai Rathwa, a former Minister of State for Railways who represented Chhota Udepur, a reserved Lok Sabha seat, for three terms in the past, and Ramsinh Rathwa, the sitting BJP MP, had raised similar demand.
Chhota Udepur will be the third tribal district in eastern Gujarat after Narmada and Tapi.