To turn the tables on BSP chief Mayawati on her “partition Uttar Pradesh” plank, the central government, led by the Congress, is likely to set up the second states reorganisation commission ahead of the elections in the state next year.
A dominant view in the Congress is that the states reorganisation commission (SRC) should be initially given a six-month timeframe while the terms of reference should be broad-based – to include statehood demands of other regions in the country as well.
If this plan goes through, the elections in UP are very likely to be over before the report is submitted.
Senior leaders such as Digvijaya Singh, Sriprakash Jaiswal and Mohan Prakash are in favour of setting up the SRC.
“The Congress is not against the idea of the partitioning of UP. Smaller states help the cause of development. We are in favour of setting up the SRC, which should deliberate and decide on such demands and also take a decision on the boundaries and resources,” Union coal minister Jaiswal said.
The first SRC, headed by justice Faizal Ali, was set up in August 1953 following an agitation in the erstwhile state of Madras.
Its report was the basis for the first round of the creation of new states in 1956.
Congress managers believe the SRC announcement will checkmate Mayawati’s “political gimmickry” on the issue, given the fact that the UP chief minister had not raised the demand at any of the meetings of the National Integration Council or the National Development Council.
“The Uttar Pradesh chief minister has not attended even a single meeting of the NIC or NDC,” a senior Congress leader said.
A UP Congress committee resolution at its Varanasi convention in May this year favoured the creation of smaller states such as Bundelkhand, Purvanchal and Harit Pradesh.