Is Division Of Uttar Pradesh Solution To Akhilesh Yadav’s Failure?

The apparent breakdown of law and order and total loss of governance in the state under Akhilesh Yadav has made us revisit the old BJP agenda ‘“ division of the humungous state.

The rising incidence of rapes and violence against women in Uttar Pradesh has also shed light on the lack of basic amenities in the state. It in turn points towards the non-implementation of government schemes and lack in administration. The apparent breakdown of law and order and total loss of governance in the state under Akhilesh Yadav has made us revisit the old BJP agenda – division of the humungous state.

According to a report in the Economic Times, the Bhartiya Janata Party leadership has been mulling over the idea for quite some time after the government machinery failed in the state to counter the problem of law and order. According to the report, the leaders are thinking of opening a debate on the issue.

BJP has always been in favour of smaller states. It should be noted that it was during Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government at the centre when three new states – Uttarakhand, Chhatisgarh and Jharkhand – were formed in 2000. The ruling Samajwadi Party has always been against the division of Uttar Pradesh. Recently, BJP supported Congress for creation of Telangana.

In 2011, under Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati as chief minister, who has been quite vocal about dividing the state, the UP Assembly had passed a resolution to create new states. The Mayawati Plan, as it is referred to, involved creation of four smaller states – Paschim Pradesh (also known as Harit Pradesh) comprising 22 districts including Meerut and Ghaziabad, Awadh Pradesh with 14 districts and to have Lucknow as its capital, Bundelkhand with seven districts and Poorvanchal comprising 22 districts of eastern UP including Gorakhpur.

But it is not easy as it seems.

As ET reports a BJP minister saying: “The division envisaged by the UP Assembly resolution is actually not viable. The biggest problem would not be the communally polarised area of Harit Pradesh, although that is a big concern, but the economic backwardness of Poorvanchal and Bundelkhand. Western UP got the benefit of the irrigation schemes of the past and industrial development, we cannot starve the rest of the state by separating them.”

The report quotes another senior leader of the party: “The state as it exists today is administratively unwieldy, but the situation is complicated. For example, in the case of Awadh, some people say that it should extend to Rampur, Balrampur, even Bahraich which others count as Poorvanchal.”

Uttar Pradesh has been a part and parcel of India’s history and development. It has been home to the greatest political leader the country has seen. Yet it lags behind in terms of development and growth.

Meghnad Desai in his column in Indian Express writes about this. He says: “The Congress had charge of Uttar Pradesh in the first 42 years. It managed to govern through its Brahmin leadership which stitched together a coalition with their Dalit farm labourers and Muslims. But the elite took care to keep the population, especially women, illiterate and insecure. Control over Uttar Pradesh meant so much to the Congress that it rejected the recommendation of the States Reorganisation Commission in the mid-Fifties to split the state into two. When the Congress lost control thanks to V P Singh and then Babri Masjid, the succession of BJP and then Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party ruled the state alone or in tandem. Yet, no party improved the social condition of the people beyond bribing their favourite vote banks. No party did what Nitish Kumar has done in Bihar and established law and order. Criminals are pillars of the political system in Uttar Pradesh like nowhere else.”

In addition to that, in terms of politics, it is a deeply divided state. It has not seen any party win two successive terms in the elections. It is not that the people of Uttar Pradesh are politically indifferent. In fact, they are the sharpest when it comes to political understanding. It is just that none of the political parties provides them with the answer to their problem and none other alternative comes up to invigorate their dreams.

Maybe the state should be divided with a better plan by BJP.

The people of Uttar Pradesh deserve better life.

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