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Who wins in Maya's 'divide and rule' policy

Virendra Singh Rawat  |  New Delhi/ Lucknow 

The proposed Purvanchal state in eastern Uttar Pradesh would get maximum 26 districts to be carved out of UP, if the ‘divide and rule’ policy of Mayawati government sees the light of day.

In the election year, the UP Cabinet on Tuesday approved the proposal to divide UP in four separate parts for speedier economic development and better administration. The proposal would be tabled in the state Assembly session later this month for ratification before it could be forwarded to the Centre.

The proposed four regions are Purvanchal (east UP), Bundelkhand, Awadh (central UP) and Paschim Pradesh (west UP). Currently, UP has 75 districts, 80 Lok Sabha seats, 403 Assembly seats, 200 million population and a geographical area of almost 2,41,000 sq km, big enough to a country in itself.

According to the blueprint of division, Purvanchal would get the maximum 26 districts, followed by Awadh (21), Paschim Pradesh (17) and Bundelkhand (11).

Purvanchal, which is one of the most economically backward regions in India, would comprise 78 million population, 158 Assembly and 31 Lok Sabha seats. The likeable capital could be Allahabad, Varanasi or Gorakhpur. Its prominent industrial and economic hubs include Varanasi, Sant Ravidas Nagar (Bhadohi), Mirzapur, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Pratapgarh etc with carpet, silk, cloth, handicraft, sugar and power loom units forming its staple.

Awadh would comprise 57 million population, 121 Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats with the existing capital of UP continuing to the state headquarter.

This region has several sugar mills, leather units, chikan and apparel manufacturing units, perfumeries, tobacco and glass units etc spread over Lucknow, Kanpur, Kannauj, Bareilly, Pilibhit, Unnao, Mainpuri, Ferozabad etc. Lucknow and Kanpur have a large concentration of commercial and educational institutions.

Similarly, Paschim Pradesh, which the Ajit Singh-led Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) terms as Harit Pradesh, would get 44 million population, 89 assembly and 18 Lok Sabha seats. Meerut could be the capital. It is the most industrialised region in UP with industries spanning leather, footwear, IT, brassware, tool and machinery manufacturing, foundries, sugar, locks, automobiles, ancillaries of several big industries, woodworks, sports goods etc. The major industrial hubs are Meerut, Agra, Ghaziabad, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Saharanpur, Aligarh, Mathura, Moradabad etc. Bundelkhand would comprise 17 million population, 35 Assembly and 7 Lok Sabha seats. Jhansi or Banda could be selected as the capital if ever this arid region was carved out as a separate state. This region is minerals rich. The state has proposed to add four more districts viz. Auraiyya, Ramabai Nagar (Kanpur Dehat), Kaushambi and Fatehpur to the original seven districts in Bundelkhand namely Jalaun, Mahoba, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Banda, Hamirpur and Lalitpur.

Bundelkhand spans districts in UP and adjoining Madhya Pradesh, where about six districts comprise the whole region.

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First Published: Wed, November 16 2011. 00:40 IST