The National Federation for New States (NFNS) in Lucknow on Monday held its maiden national conference for creation of six new states in the country. It blamed the center and the respective states for engaging in the policy of 'managing by postponement' the crisis of the demand of new states.
NFNS unanimously elected the expelled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh as its chairman in the presence of the convenor, Raja Bundela of Bundelkhand Mukti Morcha (BMM) and co-convenor, P Nirup Reddy of Telengana Vikas Kendra (TVK).
Though Raja Bundela said that the NFNS would struggle for new states without engaging in any kind of violence or vandalism, Amar Singh warned of self propelled public movement if the center and the state governments dilly-dallied the issue.'
Amar Singh said: "Stop playing billiards and play football. Instead of the indirect approach like in the sport of billiards, the governments should 'kick and goal' like in football." He meant that governments should be direct in their approach towards statehoods to these six regions. The regions are-Telengana, Vidharbha, Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh, Purvanchal, and Gorkhaland.
The federation would hold its next meeting in Darjeeling at the end of this month. The federation earlier was known with a different name-National Federation of Smaller States (NFSS) but went defunct after the creation of Uttrakhand, Chattisgarh and Jharkhand. "Now instead of 'smaller' we changed it to 'new' states because small is the wrong word. Now of the regions that we are demanding statehood for are small. If Telengana was made a state, then it would be bigger than 134 countries in the world," said P Nirup Reddy who by profession is a Supreme Court lawyer.
Munesh Tamang, who is associate professor in English but also leads the separate Gorkhaland movement through Bharatiya Gorkha Parishad said: "Struggle for separate Gorkhaland is not based only on the issues of governance. It is also the matter of self-representation and identify. We Gorkhas, speak Nepali but we were always Indian. We have no other history. But in popular imagination we are not Indian."
Reddy and Bundela said that the federation would only struggle for the six regions and would not add any new statehood demands. "We are struggling only for those six regions for which the central government had agreed statehood for. We are not demanding any new commission because commission mean an issue going into a cold storage," said Reddy.
Bundela, talking about Bundelkhand said that the region existed as a state and had a chief minister but it was later divided into two and merged in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Ajit Singh did not turn up at the conference. Amar Singh announced that from December 1 he would take up a 350 km foot-march from Allahabad to Gorakhpur for statehood to Pruvanchal.
Amar Singh said that he was doubtful about UP chief minister, Mayawati's statements of favouring smaller states out of UP. "She has majority with her. If she is serious, then all that she has to do is to move a proposal for the smaller states and then send it to the center. This would make the states a reality faster. Instead she is writing letters to the center about the statehood of Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh and Purvanchal."
NFNS said that British government had the vision to make commissions every ten years for reorganization of states every, just recently election constituencies have been delimited, but the governments do not think about reorganization of states.
A five-member delegation of National Federation for New States (NFNS) would meet the Governor, BL Joshi over its demand of statehoods to Bundelkhand, Purvanchal and Harit Pradesh.
The delegation includes NFNS chairperson, Amar Singh, convenor, Raja Bundela, co-convenor, P Nirup Reddy, Munish Tamang from Gorkhaland and Raju Shetty who demands statehood to Vidharba.