A year after the NDA government assumed power at the Centre, the demand for a separate state has started gaining momentum in the state’s Bundelkhand region.
Various organisations have started raising the issue, reminding Union Minister of Water Resources Uma Bharti — the Jhansi MP — that in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, she had promised to take up the cause if BJP came to power.
While some have taken up the agitation route, others are either writing letters or meeting senior BJP leaders to remind them of the promise for a separate state comprising of seven districts each from UP and Madhya Pradesh.
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Just before the 2012 Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh, state cabinet headed by BSP chief Mayawati had cleared the proposal to divide UP into four parts — Bundelkhand, Awadh, Paschin and Poorvanchal regions. However, the issue was sidelined after the SP came to power in 2012.
Bhanu Sahay, Chairman of Bundelkhand Nirman Morcha, said: “During campaign, Uma Bharti had promised that the process of considering a separate state of Bundelkhand will begin within six months if BJP came to power and it will come into existence in three years. It has been one year and no one is BJP is speaking about it.”
The Molrcha had burnt the effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Uma Bharti on May 25 in Jhansi. Sahay said that soon, the Morcha will launch another campaign and write to the PM, reminding him of the October 25, 2013 Shankhnad rally in Jhansi where he had promised to take care of the people of Bundelkhand and their issues.
“A few months ago, we had submitted a memorandum, addressing the Prime Minister, to the district magistrate. But we are not sure whether it had reached him. Soon, we will write to him,” he added.
BJP leader Raja Rajeshwar Pratap Singh Judev, popularly known as Raja Bundela — who has been raising the issue through agitations for the last 18 years — said he had participated in Modi’s rally, as he thought the party will form Bundelkhand as Uttrakhand, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand had come into existence when the NDA was in power in 2000.
“I had joined Modi’s rally in the presence of Rajnathji and Amit Shah. I had worked day and night during the Lok Sabha elections. However, with the government completing one year, I believe it is high time that party starts taking steps in the direction. I had recently met Rajnathji and will meet Amit Shahji in June to remind the party of the matter,” said Bundela.
He is also the president of Bundelkhand Mukti Morcha. He was earlier with Congress and had contested on its ticket. In 2013, he joined BJP.
The newly formed Bundelkhand Rajya Nirman Sena, headed by Sanjay Sharma — who had earlier worked with both Bundelkhand Mukti Morcha and Uma Bharti — said: “All parties are same. They raise the issue during elections and then forget it. We are not going to let it happen this time and will go for aggressive campaign.”
“Congress made Pradeep Aditya Jain, the only MP from this region a Union minister, but he never took up the issue aggressively until the next Lok Sabha elections came,” he claimed, adding that his Sena will “gherao” Uma Bharti when she visits Jhansi again.