THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA
THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR
Published on 10 Apr 2013
Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya.
THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM
Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia.
Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!
THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION!
Published on Mar 19, 2013
The Himalayan Voice
United States of America
BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7
Published on 10 Mar 2013
ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH.
According to estimates, creating a new state would involve about Rs 1,500 crore. That's what it took to create Chhattisgarh.
Infrastructure will have to be developed to form a capital city
A legislative assembly and offices for the new chief minister and a secretariat will have to be constructed. Quarters will have to be built to house ministers, officials, other staff.
The road to New Delhi, so goes the cliche, passes through Uttar Pradesh, which sends as many as 80 MPs to the Lok Sabha, the most among the states in the country. But that route is likely to get complicated—and some day soon—for Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati has proposed dividing the state into four. Her cabinet has already adopted a resolution on doing so and, as early as November 21, the state assembly is likely to follow suit, effectively putting in a bind the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre. The state goes to elections next year, and this sudden manoeuvre—her rival parties, which are trying to corner her on corruption and misgovernance, call it a diversionary tactic—is a challenge to the national parties, particularly the Congress. The Congress cannot be seen as opposing the move, but how can it swiftly clear the creation of four states when it hasn't been able to decide yet on Telangana, an issue dividing its MPs and MLAs from the region? And what of the demand for Vidarbha in Maharashtra? In Uttar Pradesh, there has been no consistent call for new states save for the 'Jat belt' in the west and Bundelkhand. (The latter, anyway, is complicated by the fact that locals see Bundelkhand as a region extending into neighbouring Madhya Pradesh too.)
But from the point of view of state politics, Mayawati has certainly managed to seize the initiative. When she rode to strength managing a simple majority in May 2007, she said, "Now that the people of UP have given me the full mandate to rule UP, my next target is to rule India one day." Four and a half years down the line, with another assembly election in sight, the BSP supremo has decided to slice up this politically powerful state to generate something greater than the sum of its parts.
Rethink time Rahul has to play carefully
Were it a nation, Uttar Pradesh would be the world's fifth most populous country, ahead of Brazil. Ruling the state for the fourth time, Mayawati is no novice in politics. The division of Uttar Pradesh could be her masterstroke to retain power at a time when her government's credibility is at its lowest ebb. She has very little time to overcome anti-incumbency. She'd won in 2007 in a state where law and order had broken down under the Samajwadi Party. The problem now is, her years in power have also dented her image—badly—over corruption, misgovernance, land acquisition that benefited the builder lobby, her grandiose parks and monument-mania.
Some political observers say that, in such circumstances, only something outre will see her through. Hence the formal decision to divide the state into four smaller states—Poorvanchal (the eastern parts), Paschim Pradesh (the western parts), Awadh Pradesh (the centre) and Bundelkhand (the southern parts)—though the exact allocation of districts to each state is hazy at this stage. Mayawati made the announcement some 18 hours after Rahul Gandhi sounded the bugle against her from Phulpur (in Allahabad) on November 14. His backroom boys had burnt much midnight oil over his programme and he'd received a pretty good response—despite the "begging" gaffe kicking up some heat at the national level. But Mayawati has stolen the thunder with her announcement.
Prima facie, Mayawati has argued her case well: the giant size of the existing state and its ever rising population seem to go well with the logic of smaller units of governance. "As we all know, Uttar Pradesh is the country's most populous state—nearly 20 crore people, or 16 per cent of the country's population, live here. It is gigantic—nearly 2,40,000 sq km, making it unwieldy and difficult to govern," she says. "Only a division of the state can solve its problems and remove the inherent imbalances." She hopes breaking it up will "fulfil the much-awaited aspirations of people living in each of the regions, which have suffered owing to neglect by successive governments led by the Congress or the BJP".
Leaders of both national parties have been beating around the bush on the question of supporting or opposing the move to break up the state. They understand the implications: if they declare their support for the division of Uttar Pradesh, they have to be ready to entertain the clamour for new states from different corners of the country; if they oppose it, they stand to suffer in the forthcoming assembly elections, in which they will be accused of ignoring regional needs and sentiments.
It's patently clear that Mayawati's move and its timing is an election stunt. But it has left the Congress hobbling.
Congress and BJP leaders are both speaking the same language. They maintain their parties aren't against smaller state but their objection is to the "timing" and the "abrupt manner" in which the announcement was made. Digvijay Singh of the Congress and Rajnath Singh of the BJP are suggesting the setting up of a state reorganisation commission and referring the matter to it—obviously a move to buy time. "The Congress was never against the creation of smaller states," says Jagdambika Pal, senior Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP. "In fact, Congress was responsible for carving out several new states since Independence; but that was done under a well-laid out constitutional process, not in the haphazard way Mayawati is trying."
Rajnath Singh, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and erstwhile national president of the BJP, describes the move as a "blatant stunt everyone can see through". Rita Bahuguna Joshi, state unit president of the Congress, echoes that sentiment: "If Mayawati was serious about creating four new states, she should have done it four years ago. The timing shows it's just an election stunt."
Crime rules Police at the spot in Lucknow where CMO B.P. Singh (inset) was killed
The Samajwadi Party is bluntly opposed to the move. "We have always been opposed to having smaller states," says its chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. "I'm not surprised at what Mayawati is trying. She has always played the politics of social division." Mulayam's younger brother and state president of the party, Shivpal Yadav, went a step further. "We'll oppose the move tooth and nail and see to it that Mayawati doesn't succeed in her design. We will oppose the move in the assembly and, if necessary, take to the streets." The SP's ire is natural: from being a big player in India's largest state, it faces the prospect of its turf shrinking to one or two small states.
Ajit Singh's Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which only has influence in western Uttar Pradesh, backs the idea. But, on account of the party's electoral understanding with the Congress, it has its own constraints and compulsions. Still, Jayant Chaudhary, its general secretary and son of party chief Ajit Singh, was candid enough to say, "We can see that Mayawati is playing politics, yet we welcome the move and will support her resolution to divide Uttar Pradesh. After all, we are the ones who have been fighting for the creation of a Harit Pradesh in western Uttar Pradesh, the food bowl of the state."
Even though Mayawati has set the ball rolling, there's many a slip between the cup and the lip. She is bound to face the first obstacle in the 403-member state assembly. Despite her party's current strength of 221, it may not be a cakewalk for her to get the resolution passed with a simple majority in the assembly. It's not because of stiff opposition by Mulayam's 88 MLAs alone: there are some BSP MLAs unhappy with ticket distribution, and may switch sides.
Stirred awake Clockwise, Ajit Singh and son; Mulayam and son; Uma Bharati, Rajnath, Gadkari
Already, Mayawati says it's the prerogative of the Centre to create a new state. "Parliament is fully empowered to suo motu initiate the creation of a new state, and after passing such a resolution, it has to be sent to the President, who may seek the opinion of the state legislature concerned," she asserts, citing provisions of Article 3 and 4 of the Constitution, and refuting the need to refer the matter to a reorganisation commission. "It is not binding that the process be initiated via a state reorganisation commission."
As expected, she denies the creation of new states is for immediate electoral gains. "Even before, Behenji had raised the issue at a public rally on October 9, 2007," points out BSP spokesman Swami Prasad Maurya. The first time Mayawati wrote to the prime minister about the need to create a separate state of Poorvanchal was on March 15, 2008, after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Varanasi, when he'd obliquely talked about fulfilling the aspirations of locals for a Poorvanchal state. This was followed by two more letters, the first on December 11, 2009, in which she asked Manmohan to adopt the Telangana formula for creating Bundelkhand and a state in western Uttar Pradesh. The next, in which she renewed her demand for creating Poorvanchal, was sent two days later. Now, in one smart move, she has left the opposition disoriented and is again set to change the political history of India's largest state—which may no longer retain that superlative tag.