With the state assembly elections fast approaching the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has once against decided to create hype over Harit Pradesh in western UP.
The RLD chief Chaudhury Ajit Singh on Monday said that the issue was on the electoral agenda of the party. Rural areas in Western UP are once again flooded with slogans of Harit Pradesh. Singh has targeted both the BJP and Samajwadi Party for opposing another division of the state.
The RLD - a western UP-based party - has long been surviving on emotive issue of a separate state for the people. While chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has already rejected the idea of Harit Pradesh, the BJP has given a communal twist to the issue.
The chief minister opposing the demand recently said small states had no future and those who did not have anything to offer to the people, had been talking about further division of the state and emotionally exploiting the people.
The BJP in west has come out with slogan that the RLD wanted 'Islamistan' in western UP.
The BJP’s comments are based on large presence of minority community in almost all the districts in the west. It may be recalled that the former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had favoured the idea of smaller states during Lok Sabha campaigning in 2004.
Ajit Singh rebutting the BJP charge said that the people would not be carried away by the communal propaganda of the saffron brigade. He also accused the SP of siding with BJP on the issue.
Singh said the state had become administratively 'ungovernable' because of its huge size and for this he had been campaigning for establishment of Poorvanchal and Harit Pradesh. Singh said underdevelopment was largely because of vastness of the state.
The RLD’s western unit has been directed to intensify the movement on the issue. The RLD had contested 2002 assembly election on Harit Pradesh issue.
But once the party came to power in alliance with Mayawati and later with Mulayam Singh Yadav, the issue was pushed under the carpet. It has now been taken out only for political convenience.
Even though the RLD has broken alliance with the SP, there is a feeling in the party that Harit Pradesh issue would help in further warding off anti-incumbency because of five-year power sharing.