Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh today favoured splitting Uttar Pradesh to end the “administrative nightmare” in the country’s biggest state.
“Uttar Pradesh should be divided. The magnitude of problems are very high (in the state). 200 million people,75 districts,each district 2.5 million people,” Ramesh,who was touring the Naxal affected areas of Sonbhadra district,told reporters here.
It is the first such comment from a leader in Congress which has chosen to remain ambivalent on the issue and comes months after the previous Mayawati government got a controversial resolution on splitting the state into four passed in Uttar Pradesh Assembly.
The Congress had said it favours constitution of state reorganisation commission before taking the decision to split the state so that division of resources and other issues could be considered.
The remarks may cause some heartburn in ruling Samajwadi Party,which trounced BSP in the UP assembly polls this year,as it has opposed the state’s reorganisation,saying that people of the Uttar Pradesh were against splitting the state.
Ramesh,who was here to assess the development work being undertaken under Centre’s Integrated Action Plan,said administration is not able to reach the backward regions of the state,particularly in eastern UP,because of its size and large population and noted that the the state will overtake Indonesia in 10 years.
“Indonesia is 5th most populated country in the world and if the same scenario continues,UP will overtake that country in 10 years,” the Minister said.
“Area-wise UP is too big. Population wise it is too big. Problems are too big…. I find it very difficult how particularly Poorvanchal will develop,” he said.
In November last year,Uttar Pradesh Assembly passed the controversial resolution on splitting the state into four parts.
After reviewing the implementation of various rural development programmes in the state,Ramesh also pressed for action against those found guilty of indulging in irregularities in implementation of MNREGA in Sonbhadra.