In a move that chief minister Mayawati said was inspired by BR Ambedkar, the Uttar Pradesh cabinet on Tuesday decided to divide the state into four: Purvanchal, Pashchim Pradesh, Bundelkhand and Awadh Pradesh.
While Mayawati had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue, her cabinet took a formal decision to take it up as a resolution in the state assembly during the winter session beginning Nov 21.
"We will get a resolution passed by the assembly to divide the state into four smaller states during the coming winter session to be opened on Nov 21," Mayawati said at a press conference here.
Explaining the rationale behind the move, she added: "As we all know, UP is the country's most populous state with the population shooting up to nearly 20 crore, which means that 16 percent of the country's population lives. It also has a gigantic area of 240,000 sq km and that is what makes it unwieldy."
Only a division can solve the problems and remove the inherent imbalances, the chief minister said.
How would Mayawati gain from the division of the state?
Coming a few months before the elections this is a deft political move. It could well ward off anti-incumbency and generate regional sympathies.
Procedure for forming new states
Step 1: First a state's General Administration Department prepares a proposal containing all details — essentially boundaries and maps.
Step 2: Then the proposal is adopted by the state cabinet.
Step 3: Then the government tables it in the House.
Step 4: Once it is adopted, it goes to the central government as inclusion of more states requires a constitutional amendment.
Step 5: If the central government agrees it prepares a fresh draft and tables it in Parliament.
Step 6: Once it is adopted it is sent back to the state for a final passage.
Step 7: Once the state ratifies it, a new state/states come into existence.
There has not been any authorised demarcation for the new states so far except making four states out of UP. But this is how the regions would be placed in a likely scenario:
Paschim Pradesh (Western UP)
No of districts: 17
Seats in proposed Assembly: 89
Seats in Lok Sabha: 18
Proposed capital: If Harit Pradesh comes up then it will be Meerut. If the eastern districts go to NCR and the rest merged with Central UP, then Lucknow is likely to remain the capital.
Poorvanchal (Eastern UP)
No of districts: 26
Seats in proposed Assembly: 158
Seats in Lok Sabha: 31
Proposed capital: Allahabad/Varanasi/Goraknpur
(Till now seven districts of UP used to be considered as part of the Bundelkhand region of UP. They were Jalaun, Jhansi, Mahoba, Chitrakoot, Lalitpur, Banda and Hamirpur. However, it is likely that four more districts—Kanpur dehat, Kaushambhi, Fatehpur and Auriya would be added to it to make the proposed state bigger)
No of districts: 11
Seats in proposed Assembly: 35
Seats in Lok Sabha: 7
Proposed capital: Jhansi/Banda
Awadh Pradesh (Central UP)
No of districts: 21
Seats in proposed Assembly: 121
Seats in Lok Sabha: 25
Proposed capital: Lucknow
This would be likely scenario if the state was divided
Total districts: 75
1. Western UP
Amroha (Jyotiba Phule nagar)
Gautam Buddh Nagar
Panchsheel Nagar (Hapur)
Prabuddh Nagar (Shamli)
2. Poorvanchal (Eastern UP)
Sant Kabir nagar
Sant Ravidas Nagar (Bhadoi)
4. Central UP
Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj nagar