Cong cautious over Mayawati`s plans to divide UP

Congress reacted cautiously to Mayawati`s reported plans to divide UP into 4 parts saying the party favours a State Reorganization Commission.

Updated: Nov 09, 2011, 20:22 PM IST

New Delhi: With Telangana controversy in the
back of its mind, Congress on Wednesday reacted cautiously to
Mayawati`s reported plans to divide Uttar Pradesh into four
parts saying the party favours a State Reorganization
Commission to look into such demands across the country.

"We will fulfil whatever we have said in our manifesto.
We want a State Reorganization Commission to be set up as the
issue is not limited to only Uttar Pradesh. Congress does not
decide keeping in mind a region or the state but the whole
country," party spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters here.

To a specific question on whether the new Commission will
also cover the issue of separate statehood for Telangana, Alvi
merely said, "It will cover the entire country" and evaded
further questions on the issue saying the AICC-in charge of
the state is seized of the matter.

Asked whether Congress treats Telangana as an exceptional
case, the spokesperson replied in the negative but added that
similar issues dog other states in the country as well.

"Telangana is a very sensitive issue, a very burning
issue....It`s not a different issue. It`s the same issue but
it is going on for a long time. AICC general secretary
in-charge is looking into it," he said when repeatedly asked
whether the party treats Telangana differently from other such
demands of separate states.

The Congress manifesto without specific mention says that
the Indian National Congress is aware that in some large
states the persistence of intra-regional imbalances in
development has given rise to the demand for separate states.

"While it has introduced several programmes to redress
these disparities, recognising the legitimacy of these
concerns and acknowledging that the solution may vary from one
state to another, Congress will find pragmatic solutions to
deal with these demands," the manifesto said.

When it was pointed out that the state unit of Congress
in Uttar Pradesh has supported the division of the state, Alvi
gave a cryptic reply that the unit is only a part of Congress
but remained non-committal on whether the central leadership
of the party supports Mayawati`s move.

A senior party leader speaking on condition of anonymity,
however, said that Telangana is a different kind of issue and
that has to be approached separately.

Reports had it that Mayawati will be pushing for the
division of UP into four parts - West Uttar Pradesh (Harit
Pradesh), East Uttar Pradesh (Poorvanchal), Bundelkhand and
Central Uttar Pradesh, a move which will be putting the
Opposition parties in the state like Samajwadi Party, Congress
and BJP in a tight spot.

While Mulayam Singh has traditionally been against
smaller states, the idea of dividing the state will also not
go down well with Congress and BJP.

The move is likely to create discomfort for the Congress,
which will find it hard to support the move on account of its
repercussions at the national level especially keeping in mind
the agitation on Telangana, which has virtually bifurcated
all political parties in Andhra Pradesh on Telangana and
Non-Telangana lines.

The issue has been creating great discomfort for the
Congress leadership in the state with the Opposition TRS
succeeding in making it a big issue and forcing frequent state
bandhs there.

Congress MPs from Telangana had earlier put in their
papers on the issue. Hence, any move to create new states in
any part of the country will give a fillip to the Telangana
issue.

PTI