Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha constituency Amethi appears to have been caught in realpolitik over the creation of a new district.
The state cabinet on Monday deferred a decision on creation of the new district, viewing the political sensitivity of the issue despite assurances that Samajwadi Party ministers and legislators had given to the people of Amethi. Though senior ministers refused to disclose what transpired at the state cabinet meeting, sources said there was a proposal to create the new district of Amethi with some alterations in the areas to be included therein.
As there were fresh suggestions over the issue at the cabinet meeting, the state revenue department decided to withdraw the item and get the issue re-examined in the backdrop of the new proposals. “The state government will get the issues concerning the areas to be included therein and the headquarters of the new district re-examined,” said a senior officer.
“We have received nearly 35 representations from various individuals and organisations, demanding inclusion or dropping of some areas. The state government will forward all the suggestions to the high-powered committee headed by the Board of Revenue chairman. The committee will submit its report after examining all the representations,” said the officer.
After the recent order of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court, scrapping the state government’s notification dated July 1, 2010, the Samajwadi Party leaders had assured the people that all efforts would be made to restore Amethi as a district.
“As Gauriganj was already the headquarters of Amethi district, the high-powered committee examined all the aspects about the areas to be included in the district. The committee, however, did not consider the issue of headquarters. This was not in the terms of the reference of the committee. A demand to make Amethi the district headquarters has been now made. This too will be examined,” said the officer.
This is not the first time Amethi has come into focus for the creation of a new district. A decision to create a new district of Amethi was taken in 2007 during the tenure of Mayawati as chief minister. It was named after the Bahujan Samajwadi Party’s ideologue as Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar.
Later, after installation of the Samajwadi Party government, the state cabinet at its meeting on July 23, 2012 decided to rename eight districts after their district headquarters barring Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharajnagar that was renamed as Amethi with Gauriganj as its district headquarters. Asked to comment, a minister said the party legislators had already authorised chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to take a decision on the issue.