Demand for new states picks up

Demand for new states picks up

Demand for new states picks up

Congress MLAs, including actress Jayasudha, who submitted their resignations in protest against a separate Telangana state, address the media in Hyderabad on Friday. PTI

In Lucknow, Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati demanded the creation of Harit Pradesh and Bundelkhand and said she was not opposed to another state—Poorvanchal—all to be carved out of UP. She said her party was also willing to get a resolution adopted by the state assembly in this regard.

Speaking to reporters, Mayawati said she had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on March 15, 2008, clarifying the support of her government and the BSP for the statehood for Bundelkhand and western UP.

She added she had publicly championed the cause of the new states during a BSP rally on October 9, 2007.

“If the UPA government takes an initiative like it did in the case of Telangana, we will get a resolution to this effect passed from the UP Assembly”, she said.

The chief minister appealed to the people to raise the issue but not to resort to violence. Mayawati said she was also in favour of granting statehood for the Purvanchal region. “If people want, I have no objection to Purvanchal state either”, she said, adding that the party took a decision in this regard keeping in mind the sentiments of the people of the respective regions. “UP is a large state and it will be better if the state was further divided”, she said.

Ajith Singh offers support

Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) leader Ajit Singh MP asserted that he would revive the demanded for Harit Pradesh. A supporter of the Telangana movement, Singh on Friday said he would convene a meeting of like-minded groups to discuss related issues after Parliament session. However, he said he would wait for some time before deciding his future course of action on Harit Pradesh.

GJM bundh

Emboldened by the Centre’s green signal to the formation of Telangana state, members of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), which is spearheading the demand for a separate state, on Friday resolved to press its demand for a separate Gorkhaland further. The outfit also gave a call for a 96-hour bundh in the three hill subdivisions and Dooars from December 14.

A batch of 21 GJM activists also began a fast-unto-death in front of the key West Bengal government offices, including the office of the district magistrate in Darjeeling, reports quoting GJM press and publicity secretary Benoy Tamang said.
On top of it, at least 150 members of the Nari Mukti Morcha, the women’s wing of the GJM, have drawn up a plan to begin an indefinite hunger strike in New Delhi from December 13, reports said.

A four-member GJM delegation led by general secretary Roshan Giri left for New Delhi on Thursday to convince the Centre and the Opposition parties of the merit of the demand.

In another development, the United Gorkha Revolutionary Front  (UGRF) threatened to “hang” the GJM negotiators if they failed to secure a separate Gorkhaland state in the December-21 tripartite talks with the Centre.

“The GJM negotiators will be deemed as traitors and hanged in the event of their failure to pave the way for a separate state for the Gorkha people,” UGRF president Ajay Dahal said in a statement.

He also threatened to launch a militant struggle on the statehood demand if the outcome of the crucial tripartite talks is unsatisfactory.

Jaswant meet PC

The GJM leaders and Darjeeling MP Jaswant Singh met Home Minister P Chidambaram on Friday. Singh, who led the GJM delegation to Chidambaram, said he had assured the home minister that “peace will be maintained” during the bundh, but added that “people must give voice to their sentiments”.

However, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee said she was opposed to the creation of a separate state. “We are opposed to the division of West Bengal,” she said.