On the first day of her statewide tour,Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday announced the creation of three more districts Prabuddhanagar,Panchsheel Nagar and Bhimnagar and reiterated her old demand for dividing Uttar Pradesh into smaller states.
Prabuddhanagar comprises Muzaffarnagars Shamli and Kairana tehsils,and Panchsheel Nagar consists of Ghaziabads Hapur,Garhmukteshwar and Dhaulana tehsils.
Carved out of Moradabad district,Bhimnagar includes Sambhal,Chandausi and Gunnaur tehsils. After these additions,UP will have 75 districts.
She also announced her governments decision to upgrade Dhaulana as a new tehsil.
The Chief Minister began her state-wide tour by visiting Shamli in Muzaffarnagar,Hapur in Ghaziabad and Sambhal in Moradabad and announced her decision to make these places the headquarters of the newly created districts.
She said there would be no change in the name of Hapur town.
Mayawati also used the opportunity to play her old card,demanding division of Uttar Pradesh into three separate states Pashchimanchal,Purvanchal and Bundelkhand.
The Chief Minister had earlier written letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,demanding creation of three separate states.
She told the gathering at all three places that she has always favoured the creation of three separate states by dividing the state and underlined the need for the reconstitution of Uttar Pradesh for this purpose.
Reiterating her demand for reservation to Muslims and poor among upper castes as well as inclusion of Jats in the central list of other backward classes,Mayawati said she favoured an increase in the quota of OBCs and SCs. She also demanded reservation for these communities in the judiciary and private sectors.
Justifying her decision to create smaller districts,she said: The idea of smaller units was propagated by leaders like Bhim Rao Ambedkar and Jyotirao Phule.
She also said smaller administrative units help maintain law and order,besides ensuring development.
Mayawati said she took the decision after she surveyed the state of development in all existing 72 districts of the state.
It was found that the Ghaziabad district was far too big for administrative efficiency. The rural areas of Hapur were not benefiting in terms of development,so this decision has been taken. She said the move would allow the Ghaziabad Development Authority to concentrate on a smaller area,mostly urban and industrial.
Coming down hard on the central government,the Chief Minister said the Centre had not been cooperating with the BSPs efforts to develop Uttar Pradesh.
We asked for a economic package of Rs 8,000 crore in 2007 but that request was turned down. In spite of that,the state government has carried out a lot of development activities.
Mayawati also inspected police stations and tehsil offices. During her visit to the Hapur police station,she expressed her unhappiness for not keeping the premises clean, a government statement said.
The statement said the CM took a serious view of the absence of mobile numbers of complainants in the tehsil register. At Shambhal and Shamli,she reviewed the implementation of various government schemes.
Insiders said the CM has started giving special focus to western UP where the BSP is facing trouble in the wake of land acquisition. Her decision to upgrade Shambhal as Bhimnagar district would help her woo Muslim voters. This is a politically right decision before the 2012 Assembly elections, a source in the BSP said.
Sources in the government said she would visit Kanpur,Auraiya and Ramabai Nagar on September 30.
Hapur residents were elated. Harish Yadav,who was part of the Hapur Sangharsh Samiti,said,We have been making this demand for a separate district since 1976. Now that it has come true,maybe the region will get some attention. It has been ignored for far too long.
Others,however,expressed disappointment at the name. Panchsheel Nagar signifies nothing. It should have been named after some farmer or Dalit icon as was expected. This name signifies nothing. But it doesnt matter, said Ramesh Kumar.
(With DIPANKAR GHOSE in HAPUR)
Oppn not amused
Mayawatis announcement drew sharp criticism from opposition parties. BJP state president Surya Pratap Shahi said she did nothing during her rule except building parks and statues. Now she wants to gain political mileage ahead of polls by announcing three new districts, he said.
The Samajawadi Party said the move amounted to playing fraud with the people on the eve of Assembly elections. It is a fraud with the people of the state, SP state unit chief Akhilesh Yadav said.
Congress spokesman Subodh Srivastava said mere creation of new districts and posting of officials do not ensure development.
New DMs in new districts
The state government on Wednesday posted District Magistrates in the three newly created districts of Uttar Pradesh.
Pragyan Ram Mishra has been posted as DM of Bhimnagar,Ajay Kumar Singh is DM of Prabuddhanagar and Saurabh Babu has been made the DM of Panchsheel Nagar.
The government has also transferred three other IAS officers. Nitishwar Kumar has been made Managing Director of Madhyanchal Vidyut Board,Raj Shekhar is DM of Jalaun and Sunita Chaturvedi is DM of Balrampur.