Published On:23 November 2011
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Mayawati’s long-term plan behind division of Uttar Pradesh

By Mohammad Shahid Parvez

Under attack from opposition for alleged corruption and misrule of her Government on the election eve, the Chief Minister Mayawati’s decision proposing division of Uttar Pradesh into four smaller states has surprised everybody. While the opposition parties were caught off-guard and did not know how to react the decision has ensued a public debate about the efficacy of the move. However Mayawati through her well calculated move has not only tried to counter anti-incumbency factor and reap the harvest in the forthcoming elections by polarising the voters on this issue but also to draw long-term benefit of holding clout in the proposed smaller states by sheer power of her vote bank. Mayawati knows that in the proposed states her vote bank (Dalits) would be evenly spread in all the four states thus she would have a chance to rule all or majority of the states instead of one big UP.

Naturally Samajwadi Party, whose influence in the proposed states will be limited only in Central state and to some extent in Poorvanchal has opposed the move and is planning to bring a no confidence motion against the Government in the coming winter session of the state Assembly. The party also feels that in the absence of a clear stand by Congress and BJP on the issue, the party will get the votes of those opposed to the division of the state. On the other hand Congress and BJP, the two parties having national presence are confused. While Congress can neither openly oppose the move for fear of losing votes in the forthcoming elections nor support it because that would create problems for it in Telengana. BJP which has been an advocate of smaller states and created Uttarakhand out of UP naturally finds itself unable to oppose the move. But the saffron party is worried that the division of the state will create regions of high Muslim concentration in eastern and western states. The Congress and BJP are also worried because in smaller states more regional parties might crop that may hamper their upward movement in these states. That is why the two parties have favoured a reorganization commission to work out the modalities before going ahead with the move.

The demand for division of U.P. into smaller states is not new. Voices for Harit Pradesh, Poorvanchal Pradesh and Bundelkhand state has constantly been raised by leaders of the respective regions. These leaders and parties naturally welcomed the move but doubted Mayawati’s intention in taking the decision in the twilight of her five year tenure. These leaders feel that if Mayawati was sincere she should have taken the initiative in the beginning of her tenure for then she would have enough time to pursue it with the Centre. But moving the proposal on the eve of elections is certainly to divert attention from her misdeeds and draw poll benefits out of it. The Chief Minister however defends her move ‘the power to carve out new states from bigger ones vests with the Centre. But seeing the Centre failing in its duty, I proposed division of the state for better management and development.’

But do smaller states guarantee better development because of their small size? The answer is in the negative if we go by the performance of Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh carved out of UP, Bihar and MP respectively. Some of these states fared worse than their parent states despite being smaller in size and having resources and those who fared better due only to efficient and honest administration. The day corruption crept in the administration the efficiency declined. Thus the management and development do not depend only on the size of a unit in this case state but on good governance and efficient and honest administration. Smaller states may be easy to govern but without efficient and honest administration better development can not be guaranteed.

Mayawati Government has proposed, it is now for Centre to depose. But the Centre is still groping with Telengana issue and can not take a decision on her proposal unless some solution is found of that issue. So the division of UP remains a distant dream.

[Mohammad Shahid Parvez is former News Editor, National Herald, Lucknow. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Uttar Pradesh). He can be contacted at mshahidparvez@gmail.com]

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Posted by Indian Muslim Observer on November 23, 2011. Filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Feel free to leave a response

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