“The fear of the closure of sugar mills, migration of youths to other states in search of jobs and the killings of people from the region in Assam and Maharashtra forced me to take up the issue of statehood for Poorvanchal,” he said.
Singh addressed rallies in different districts in UP as part of the yatra. “I was unwell, but I still covered 450 km to create awareness among the masses for a separate state,” he said.
Dismissing talks that he had launched the yatra to propel his political innings, Singh said he was not interested in becoming chief minister or prime minister. “The humiliation heaped on the people of this region in various corners of the country would work as catalyst in the formation of Poorvanchal,” said Singh, who was accompanied by Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada and Bhojpuri actor-singer Manoj Tiwari.
Defending his call to further break the state, Singh cited the example of Uttarakhand, which was carved out from the western part of the state in 2000.
“If a backward area like Uttarakhand could become a developed state within 10 years of its formation, Poorvanchal with its vast natural resources can become once of the richest states in the country. It would not only check migration but also restore pride among the natives.”
He also hit out at Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for opposing the formation of Poorvanchal state.