Lucknow/New Delhi, Nov 15: BJP and Samajwadi Party today dismissed as a “political stunt” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's decision to divide the state into four parts before the Assembly elections while Congress treaded cautiously on the issue.
BJP leader Uma Bharti said Mayawati “made this announcement just before the elections and acted unmindful of the sentiments of the local people”.
Samajwadi Party President Mulayam Singh Yadav termed Mayawati's move to create four states as a “political conspiracy and election stunt”.
“This is an election stunt to befool the people of the state and also a political conspiracy”, Yadav said in Lucknow and said his party would oppose it strongly. On the chief minister's claims that smaller states would ensure better and balanced development, he said it has nothing to do with development.
The SP chief alleged BSP has always believed in creating rifts. “Their only aim is to create rifts in society and now they speak on dividing the state”.
Ideologically, BJP has always been in favour of smaller states and had formed Uttaranchal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh in 2000 when NDA was in power at the Centre. It also supports the demand for Telangana.
However, BJP is concerned that carving out a separate state from Western UP may go against it as it will have a Muslim-majority and the party is not likely to win seats here. Though no leader went on record on this aspect of the issue, the party hinted at this.
“Before forming a new state, the opinion of the local people should be taken, the demographic profile of the new state should be kept in mind, geographical concerns should be addressed and logistical issues should be looked into,” Bharti, incharge of party affairs in UP, said.
BJP leaders cite the example of Kashmir where Muslims are in a majority and “have forced the (minority) Kashmiri Pandits to flee from the state”. Some in the party feel Paschim Pradesh may witness a similar scenario with Hindus at the receiving end.
Congress reacted cautiously to Mayawati's decision saying “any decision regarding it should be taken after a thorough consideration and contemplation taking into account all aspects.”
“Congress does not take decisions having long-term impact with an eye on one particular election or any temporary advantage,” AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters in New Delhi.
The AICC General Secretary, who himself hails from Uttar Pradesh, said Congress takes any decision keeping in mind the entire nation.
To a question whether the party will support Mayawati government's decision to create new states from Uttar Pradesh, Congress spokesperson Renuka Chaudhary said “we will cross the bridge when it comes.”
Asked whether the move will damage Congress politically, she said “there is nothing bigger than national interest. We will look at profit and loss later on.”