Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on Wednesday said a further division of Uttar Pradesh was not the solution to the problems that the state, or the regions within it, faced.
Expectedly his position is in marked contrast to the one taken by Bahujan Samajwadi Party chief and UP chief minister Mayawati, who wrote to the Centre last June asking for the state's trifurcation.
Yadav was speaking at a press conference before the party's three-day state convention, which begins on Thursday.
Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state in the country, would lose its importance in national politics if it was divided again, Yadav added.
The SP chief's stand makes electoral sense because the Yadavs - his support base, constituting 8.7% of UP's population - is scattered across the state and not concentrated in any region.
"The party opposes the concept of development through dividing states. Earlier, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand came into existence. But what was the result?" he said in response to a question.
UP was divided in 2000, when Uttarkhand (then Uttaranchal) was carved out of it.
"The government has to draw up sound schemes for development," he said.
He, however, declined to comment on his erstwhile party colleague and Lok Manch leader Amar Singh's Purvanchal Swabhiman Yatra, which espouses the cause of a separate state in eastern UP.
He said when he was chief minister, he had approved funds for the development of eastern UP, but the present government did not use the money properly. Otherwise, eastern UP would have been a developed region by now, Yadav said.