The blueprint for the division of Uttar Pradesh under chief minister Mayawati's consideration is substantially different from the 30-year-old demand of people who have been spearheading the smaller state movement.
Raja Bundela, who has floated his own party, Bundelkhand Congress, to contest the election on the issue of statehood for the region, says: "The state government apparently wants to carve out Bundelkhand without adding the districts of Madhya Pradesh." (Bundelkhand as a geographical region straddles both the states.)
If this happens, the contours of the four smaller states carved out of UP - Purvanchal, Bundelkhand, Paschim Pradesh and Awadh Pradesh - will be different.
According to Bundela, who is also convener of the National Front for New States, Harit Pradesh (Paschim Pradesh) may not see the light of the day. The original Harit Pradesh idea includes the Rohilkhand region, but it seems that now Rohilkhand will stay in Awadh Pradesh.
The National Front for Smaller States had initially based its demand for the division of UP on the Third-Five Year Plan (1961-66), in terms of which the state was divided into five economic zones, namely Uttaranchal, Bundelkhand, Avadh, UP (East) and UP (West) on the basis of sharp variations in agriculture patterns, water resources, land fertility, etc. In this, districts of both UP and Madhya Pradesh are considered.
Bundela said the state government planned to add four new districts - Auraiya, Kanpur Dehat, Kaushambi and Fatehpur - to the original demand for the amalgamation of seven districts in Bundelkhand, namely Jalaun, Mahoba, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur, Lalitpur.
The government is excluding five to seven districts of the adjoining Madhya Pradesh.
The other deviation from the oft-discussed plan is the shifting of the new state's proposed capital from Jhansi to Banda. The latter is the stronghold of BSP minister Naseemuddin Siddqui.
Mayawati had first raised the issue of division of Uttar Pradesh in the assembly on October 31, 2007. But she did not bring a formal resolution. Instead, she shot off a letter to the Prime Minister on March 15, 2008, and December 11, 2009, stating the state government would move a proposal on the issue if the Centre gave its consent.
However, nothing happened.
The assembly is holding its last session in its 2007-12 term from November 21.
HT contacted sources in the government but they are tight-lipped on the issue. Till now there has not been any authorised/official demarcation (distribution of districts). Political parties are also divided in their opinion.
While SP leader Ambika Choudhary said the party would oppose any division of the state, former UP chief minister and BJP general secretary Rajnath Singh demanded the Centre set up a states reorganisation commission.
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said the party would support the resolution on Bundelkhand if moved by the state government in the assembly.