Barasat (WB): Telangana, Vidarbha, Gorkhaland, Bodoland, Harit Pradesh, Bundelkhand, Purvanchal and many more – the ever increasing list of demand for new states on Saturday forced the Central government to limit the Telangana fallout and categorically make it clear that the ‘compromise’ on Andhra Pradesh should not be seen as a view in the government to allow smaller states to come up everywhere across the country.
Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee rubbished any kind of ‘domino effect’, categorically stating that the UPA government’s decision to look into the demand for a separate Telangana state to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh doesn’t mean it has agreed to demands from other states too.
"The demand for Telangana is 60 years old. This does
not mean everywhere new states are to be created," Mukherjee
told reporters after inaugurating a new hospital here in North
He said that so far Teleagana was concerned Home
Minister P Chidambaram had made a statement that "there were
stages for formation (of a state). These are preliminary
The Centre’s clarification comes at an opportune time as its ‘in principle’ acceptance of the demand for a separate Telangana state has set off a chain reaction, prompting politicians from other regions to pitch for their pound of flesh. Vidarbha, Gorkhaland, Bodoland, Harit Pradesh, Bundelkhand, Purvanchal…the list is growing by the day.
Sensing this, the Congress had yesterday stressed that the party was against demands for new states being made for "political adjustment of leaders".
Party spokesman Shakeel Ahmed had stated that the Congress was not against smaller states but the demand should be need-based.
The Congress response had come after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati raised the political pitch by demanding creation of three states from the present Uttar Pradesh.
"I have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging him to give us clearance for creating independent states of Budelkhand and Harit Pradesh out of a giant-sized and unmanageable Uttar Pradesh," Mayawati told a hurriedly convened press conference in Lucknow Friday evening.
Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, a strong votary of Harit Pradesh, said in New Delhi that his party will launch an agitation if the Central government does not consider demand for creation of the new state.
Activists of Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) in West Bengal have also reignited their demand for Gorkhaland.
A four-member Gorkha Janamukti Morcha (GJM) delegation along with Darjeeling MP Jaswant Singh met Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday to press for creation of a separate state.
In Assam, the Bodo, Karbis and Dimasa tribes have also again raised the demand for statehood.
Former Railway Minister and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad said that he supported demands for creating Purvanchal and Bundelkhand.
The Congress is also facing new demands from its own ranks with former minister and party MP Vilas Muttemwar stoking the demand for a new state of Vidrabha. Muttemwar has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demanding creation of the new state.
In Andhra Pradesh, there are demands for a three-way bifurcation if Telangana is made a new state. Politicians from Rayalaseema region have demanded separate statehood for the backward region, saying they would agree to division of the state to create Telangana only if their demand for Greater Rayalaseema is acceded to.
Meanwhile, apparently in view of the continuing unrest in the state and the en masse resignation by legislators, the TRS sounded conciliatory today and announced that it was willing to wait for the creation of a separate Telangana state carved out of Andhra Pradesh.
Senior TRS leader KT Rama Rao said, “We are willing to wait a little longer for the resolution to be passed in the Assembly… we understand Congress’ dilemma; we are thankful to UPA for its commitment to create Telangana.”
Importantly, he also pledged that there will be no more protest in Telangana over the issue.
First Published: Saturday, December 12, 2009, 23:56