Even as the UPA coordination committee cleared the creation of a separate Telangana state on Tuesday, the demand for a separate Bundelkhand state doesn’t seem to be enthusing the leadership of either of the prominent political parties in the state.
In fact, leaders feel that the demand for a separate Bundelkhand may not pick up post the creation of Telangana as unlike Telangana, the movement does not have ground-level support.
In November 2011, the UP assembly had passed a resolution for creation of Bundelkhand but the MP government rejected the demand outright.
The proposed state of Bundelkhand is to have six districts from MP and seven districts from UP.
Finance minister Jayant Malaiya told HT that the creation of Telangana will not have an impact on the demand for Bundelkhand.
“MP has been working on improving Bundelkhand and has allocated vast resources to the area. The area will benefit by remaining a part of MP,” he said.
Malaiya, a BJP leader from Damoh said the spending on all sectors has increased in districts of Bundelkhand and the demand for separate state is not relevant.
Rural development minister Gopal Bhargava said the demand for Bundelkhand will pick up post the creation of Telangana.
“The BJP has supported the demand for smaller states but Bundelkhand involves two states which makes it slightly different,” he said.
Former minister and Congress leader Raja Pateria said, “I support the demand for Bundelkhand but in the present context with BJP in power in MP and Samajwadi party in UP, the creation of Bundelkhand seems difficult,” he said.
Pateria added that the creation of a new state requires public demand which is missing in Bundelkhand.
“States created without public demand do not do well in the long run,” he said.
Congress MLA from Prithivipur in Tikamgarh district, Brajendra Singh Rathore said with the creation of Telangana, those demanding a separate Bundelkhand will get active.
“The Congress supports the demand if it’s the demand of the people,” he said.
The earliest demands for a separate Bundelkhand can be traced back to an agreement with the government of India and 35 erstwhile ruling states of Bundelkhand in 1949.
Later, the demand was raised by Shankarlal Malhotra and Mahendra Manav.
In recent times, actor Raja Bundela has been the flag bearer of the separate Bundelkhand movement, but his presence and the demand for the state has been intermittent.