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Advani non-committal on Maya`s proposal to divide UP

Last Updated: Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 13:14

Chandigarh: Any decision on formation of new states should be taken after due diligence and nothing should be done in haste, BJP leader LK Advani on Thursday said while remaining non-committal on Mayawati`s proposal to divide UP into four parts.

"On her (Mayawati) proposal I will neither say yes nor no. The issue should be thoughtfully considered and discussed," Advani told reporters here before leaving for Uttarakhand.

"What her idea is behind the proposal, I will not speculate. New state formation cannot be done in haste," he said.

UP Chief Minister Mayawati has proposed division of the state into four states - Poorvanchal, Bundelkhand, Avadh Pradesh and Paschim Pradesh.

Advani noted that reorganisation of states was first done in 1954 on linguistic basis. Subsequently, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh were carved out of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

"I felt it (demand for new states) was justified as the three states formed on linguistic basis had large areas," he said, adding that in the 1998 BJP manifesto they had made a commitment.

"We formed the three states when I was the Home Minister. We made the new states without any problem," he said, adding further division of UP should be done only after considering the issue threadbare.

Advani, whose yatra had entered the 37th day, said apart
from corruption, the issue of black money particularly huge
amount stashed away in foreign banks including in Swiss banks,
has deeply "disturbed and distressed" people of the country.

"I have myself noticed this anger in the course of my
yatra," he said.

The BJP leader said, "It is indeed deplorable that while
not only powerful countries like USA, Germany, France but even
smaller countries like Philippines, Peru, South Korea and
Nigeria have taken strong and effective steps in getting the
black money deposited in foreign banks, the response of the
UPA Government has been that of gross indifference.

"Why is the UPA Government reluctant to disclose identity
of those persons in respect of whom Government has initiated
proceedings for recovery of tax concerning their foreign bank
accounts?" he asked.

Noting that recently France and some other countries gave
names of Indians who have accounts in Swiss and other foreign
banks to the government, he said, "To the best available
information these names were not given with any obligation to
maintain secrecy. The country is certainly entitled to know
their identity.

"The entire country is agitated and the government`s
reluctance only confirms that exposure would cause further
embarrassment to it," he said, adding the issue would be
raised in Parliament.

Hoping that the issue of black money abroad will get
prominence during Parliament`s Winter Session, he said, "I
should expect candour from the government."

Advani said reports about names of three MPS figuring in
the lists of Indians being investigated in connection with
foreign bank accounts bring the issue of black money "close to
the political system".

He said from time to time various functionaries in the
government, including the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and
Home Minister, keep saying that our talks are on with other
countries regarding information on black money abroad. "So far
Parliament is not aware what is being done."

Advani said the Government must disclose as to in respect
of how many Indians proceedings under the Prevention of Money
Laundering Act is going on and concerning how many Indians,
Swiss Bank and other foreign bank authorities have been
approached for disclosure of their accounts and with what
results.

"The record of the UPA government has been very dismal. In
fact its bonafide itself is suspect from the very beginning.
Recently the Swiss Ambassador to India publicly commented that
its government is willing to render all co-operation if
government shows the political will," he said.

Advani said, "When the whole world is proceeding towards
openness and disclosure of information, what prevents the
Government from disclosing names of those who have parked this
money in foreign banks? The Government took six years to
ratify the UN Convention against corruption and invariably the
taxation agreements with various countries are being made
prospective (effect) which will frustrate the very purpose of
this exercise."

On the cash-for-vote scam, Advani said, "I read in a
newspaper that the Delhi High Court said there is no evidence
against them. I have not read the judgement. This scandal
should be taken to its logical end and all the facts related
to the unseemly ugly incident, which has tarnished India`s
image, should be brought out in the open. The issue should not
be left at the bail stage only."

To a question on Rahul Gandhi`s visits to houses of
Dalits and to gurdwaras, Advani said, "I have never commented
on what my adversaries do."

On the ruling SAD-BJP alliance and opposition Congress
launching personal attacks against each other, Advani said, "I
do not comment on any one. Unparliamentarily language should not
be used."

Asked about construction activities being undertaken by
China along the border with India, he said recently the
Defence Minister had expressed concern after the BJP
delegation, which visited the area, put forth its views.

"The Defence Minister said India will take all effective
steps. What is actually done by the government we will see,"
he said.

To a question on removal of some BJP ministers from the
Badal ministry following alleged corruption, Advani said the
removal was not due to corruption charges. "Change is an
ongoing process. The organisation will decide on nomination of
party men for assembly elections".

PTI



First Published: Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 12:02

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