For Singh division of UP is a small price to pay for revenge against Mulayam
Ajay Singh | February 5, 2010
Even before he was expelled from the Samajwadi Party (SP), Amar Singh set the ball rolling for his future course of action. He is working on the adage that “enemy's enemy is a friend” and co-opting dissidents with the SP. He is goading a few influential leaders in eastern UP to float a political platform to raise the demand for separate statehood for the region.
There have been political lobbies in eastern UP consistently raising the demand for a separate state but the movement has not gathered critical mass. The logic of the demand emanates from the state planning commission's allocation of money to eastern UP as a separate administrative unit. The budget allots funds to the three distinct administrative units __ eastern UP, West UP and Bundelkhand. Eastern UP has always felt that governments have been stingy with the region while pouring resources into the western region.
One strong votary of statehood for eastern UP is Shatruddhprakash who was part of the Mulayam Singh cabinet in the latter's first term as chief minister. Prakash has been nursing a grudge against Yadav for marginalising him in the state politics. Prakash is a leader in his own right in Varanasi and has become the focal point for the yearning for statehood. Just after his resignation from all posts, Amar made a quick dash to Varanasi and sought help from Prakash and other votaries of statehood. Though he may have made some progress, there is serious skepticism about giving away the platform to Amar whose credibility quotient is quite low.
Amar made a simultaneous attempt to rope in jat leader Ajit Singh's support to raise the pitch for carving out western UP into Harit Pradesh. Ajit's readiness to play ball with Amar is directly related to his pathological aversion to Mulayam. Ajit feels Mulayam stole his father's political legacy from him. Given Ajit Singh's support base among dominant jats in western UP, an Amar-Ajit axis can prove to be an strong platform. Similarly in Bundelklhand, Raja Bundela, a bollywood discard but popular in the region, has been leading a movement for separate Bundelkhand. Given Rahul Gandhi's focus on the economic and social backwardness of the region, Bundela's platform has emerged as credible alternative to mainstream political parties.
If all these three states are created, Mulayam Singh's influence will be limited to a small pocket and he will be reduced to irrelevance on the national stage. Clearly Amar Singh's future political course seems to be in perfect alignment with Mayawati's. The UP chief minister has already proposed division of the state for exactly the same reason. Whether Amar Singh will gain or not is a question for later, but there is no doubt that he will do his worst to hurt Mulayam. Division of UP is a small price to pay for settling scores with his latest political rival.
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