New Delhi :With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections months away, the issue of division of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous state, is back in focus as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said it would launch a movement to fulfil the long-standing aspiration of the people. The state accounts for the highest number of 80 Lok Sabha seats.
“Uttar Pradesh is a big state, both from the points of view of area and population. Its population is as much as that of any big country. It has become practically very difficult to govern such a vast state,” AAP spokesperson Sanjay Singh told PTI.
“The AAP is in favour of smaller states. It supports division of Uttar Pradesh into four parts, and for this, it will go the extent of even launching a movement. The party will finalise its strategy soon,” he said.
On being pointed that other political parties have opposed division of the state, Singh said the BJP has been a supporter of formation of smaller states.
“People of Bundelkhand, Poorvanchal and Paschim Kshetra (western UP) have been demanding creation of smaller states for the last many years. This is a matter of public feeling and political parties must think seriously,” the senior AAP said.
The party is of the view that for effective law and order system and conducive conditions for growth, formation of smaller states is necessary, Singh, a Rajya Sabha member, said.
“In Uttar Pradesh, because of poor law and order and absence of development, schools, roads and hospitals are not being built. Sonbhadra district gives the maximum revenue, but see its condition. See the condition of Poorvanchal. If UP is divided into four states, it will be good,” he said.
Speaking at an event in Noida on Saturday, AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal advocated for the division of the state and said it has lagged in development because of its size.
“Uttar Pradesh should be divided into Awadh, Bundelkhand, Purvanchal and Pashchim Uttar Pradesh — four states. This is the people’s demand. And not only do we support it, we will struggle with the people of the state for the fulfilment of this demand,” Kejriwal said.
The demand for splitting Uttar Pradesh into Harit Pradesh (western UP), Poorvanchal (eastern UP), Bundelkhand and Awadh is raked up from time to time and come elections, it gains momentum.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), headed by Mayawati, was once a strong supporter of the demand when the Samajwadi Party was in power, maintaining that smaller states could be governed better.
Dalit icon B R Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution had recommended the division of Uttar Pradesh in his book ‘Bhashayi Rajya’.
As the chief minister, Mayawati had first raised the issue in 2007 and her government had even adopted a resolution in the state Assembly seeking its division into four parts.
Both the BJP and the Congress had supported the resolution brought by Mayawati in the 403-member House.
But, as Mayawati lost power in 2012 after winning just 80 seats against 206 seats in 2007, her demand lost steam.
The BJP-led NDA had carved out Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh from UP, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh respectively, giving rise to speculation that it might favour further division of the most populous state.
Besides the RLD, Raja Bundela’s Bundelkhand Congress, Kalyan Singh’s erstwhile Jan Kranti Party, Amar Singh’s now defunct Rashtriya Lok Manch and Ayub Khan’s Peace Party too had time to time pitched for division of the state.
Rahul ‘regrets’ using SC reference in ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark over Rafale deal
New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday filed his response to a contempt petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Meenakshi Lekhi over his remark on the Rafale deal. Rahul said that he ‘regrets’ using Supreme Court’s reference in ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark and it was ‘made in the heat of the political campaign.’
SC had last week issued a notice to Rahul Gandhi in connection to the contempt petition and sought an explanation from him.
In his response, the Congress president said that the statement was made in the “heat of political campaigning” but alleged that it has been “used and misused by political opponents.”
“I will not attribute any views, observations or findings to the court in political addresses to the media and in public speeches, unless such views, observations or findings are recorded by the Court,” Rahul Gandhi said.
“It is also clear that no court would ever do that (say Chowkidar Chor hai) and hence the unfortunate references (for which I express regret) to the court order and to the political juxtaposition in the same breath in the heat of the political campaigning,” he added.
The Supreme Court will hear the matter .
After the apex court had dismissed preliminary objection raised by the Centre seeking review of the earlier judgment in the Rafale case, the Congress president remarked: “Supreme Court has said chowkidar chor hai in the verdict.”
While making the observations last week, a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said: “We make it clear that views, observations, findings attributed to this court in the alleged speeches, remarks made by Gandhi to media/public have been incorrectly attributed to this court. We also make it clear that this court had no occasion to make such observation in as much as it was deciding legal admissibility of certain documents which were objected by the attorney general.”
Like father, like son: Jaya Prada reacts to Abdullah Azam Khan’s ‘Anarkali’ jibe
New Delhi: Jaya Prada on Monday lashed out at Abdullah Azam Khan for his remarks from a day earlier in which he described her as ‘Anarkali.’
Abdullah, son of Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan, had – without actually taking Jaya Prada’s name – had suggested that Rampur Lok Sabha constituency will accept both Bajrangbali and Ali but will reject Anarkali. It is believed to be a clear reference to Jaya Prada who is contesting the Lok Sabha election on a BJP ticket from here. (Full report here)
Reacting to the remark, Jaya Prada said that Abdullah has taken the habit of making cheap remarks from his father. “I cannot decide whether to laugh or to cry after listening to his remark. Like father, like son. But I had not expected this from Abdullah. He is an educated man,” she told news agency ANI. “His father says I am Amrapali. He says I am Anarkali. Is that how they see women?”
The verbal duel between Jaya Prada on one side and Abdullah and Azam Khan on the other has been bitter, often bordering on derogatory.
Azam Khan, in particular, has had to face massive backlash for reportedly making numerous crass remarks against his former SP colleague who has since joined BJP. The two are direct rivals in the Rampur Lok Sabha constituency which votes in the third phase this Tuesday.
‘Absolutely a right decision’: Amit Shah defends fielding Sadhvi Pragya
Kolkata: While addressing a press conference in Kolkata, BJP president Amit Shah said, “The refugees who have come from Bangladesh, be it Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, or Christians, BJP has clearly signalled in its ‘sankalp patra’ that we will give them citizenship.”
“Citizenship Amendment Bill will come first, all refugees will be given citizenship, after that NRC will be made. Refugees shouldn’t worry, only infiltrators should. First the CAB will come then NRC, NRC will not be for just Bengal but for the whole country,” Shah said.
Shah assured that Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be passed after picture in Rajya Sabha changes by 2020.
He said, for India, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections is about taking it to new heights and establishing democracy.
“Democracy has ceased to exist in Bengal, law and order has also failed,” he added.
Speaking on the recent controversial leader Sadhvi Pragya, the BJP president said that she has been given a clean chit after a false case was filed against her.
Sadhvi Pragya, who is out on bail in the Malegaon blast case of 2008, has been fielded by the BJP from Bhopal constituency. “It is absolutely a right decision. The allegations against her are baseless. Nothing against her or Swami Aseemanad have been proved,” Shah said while addressing a media conference here.
On being asked if Prime Minister Modi will also contest from West Bengal, Shah said that as of now there is no such plan.