Uttarakhand hopes to benefit from Mayawati win
Every cloud has a silver lining. Although Mayawati's unexpected win has sent shockwaves in the BJP, Uttarakhand is hopeful of getting its long-pending issues with the neighbouring state resolved soon.
Despite terming BSP's return to power in Uttar Pradesh as a "cause for worry" for the BJP, Uttarakhand Chief Minister BC Khanduri is optimistic about settling issues like division of assets soon.
"Recent victories in Punjab, Uttarakhand and the win in Delhi civic polls had made us feel that BJP had become more acceptable to voters and would perform well in Uttar Pradesh too. But that was not the case," he said.
"Maywati's win has come as a shock to the BJP. But since the BSP has been able to form government without any outside support, we are hopeful of addressing pending issues through talks soon," added Khanduri.
More than six years after its creation, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh are yet to address several issues like division of assets in some government departments and sending back of thousands of employees from Uttar Pradesh to their parent state.
Despite several rounds of talks in past years between senior bureaucrats from the two states and intervention of the Centre, issues like division of assets in irrigation and fisheries departments are yet to be solved.
Control of the Kumbh Mela area and Hotel Alaknanda in Haridwar and assets in the warehousing department is still with Uttar Pradesh. Of the nearly 5000 employees wishing to go back, most are from police and education departments.
After assuming office, Khanduri has mentioned about his government's resolve to send back employees from Uttar Pradesh but the move has not met with much success due to the neighbouring state's attitude on the issue.
The Uttarakhand unit of BSP, which is the third largest party in Vidhan Sabha with eight MLAs is also hopeful that 'Behen' Mayawati's win would help in addressing bilateral issues between the two states.
"The time is now suitable to address these pending issues, which have remained unresolved for so many years. We will take it up in Vidhan Sabha and also visit Lucknow to raise the issue with the UP Chief Minister," said RK Burman, president of BSP's Uttarakhand unit.