New states issue may blunt Cong poll plank

The growing demand for new states could blunt the Congress’ main poll plank — food security — if the Centre and the party do not handle the issue carefully.
The demand for a separate Telangana state has already created unrest in Assam and West Bengal after the CWC asked the Centre to go ahead. Besides, these border states, political leaders in Uttar Pradesh and Vidarbha in Maharashtra will keep the issue alive till the general elections.
The Telangana issue is unlikely to be confined to Andhra Pradesh. According to sources, the Andhra legislature cannot pass it unanimously due to the sharp division among legislators. And even if it is passed and Parliament creates a new Telangana state, the Congress could face the music in Assam and West Bengal during the Lok Sabha elections.
While Vidarbha leaders feel that this is the right time to get a new state, it will be interesting to see whether BSP chief Mayawati and the RLD support a Telangana state bill in Parliament ignoring the UP Assembly’s resolution to split the state in four.
The Congress could gain in Telangana in the Lok Sabha polls and the Andhra Pradesh Assembly polls but may lose in Assam, West Bengal and Maharashtra.
India may have at least 50 states in future if demands for new states are to be conceded as the home ministry has received representations for creation of more than 20 states.
The demands for separate states have come from across the country — for Kukiland in Manipur to Kongu Nadu in Tamil Nadu, for Kamatapur in North Bengal to Tulu Nadu in Karnataka.
However, except Uttar Pradesh, which during the Mayawati-led BSP government proposed to create four states dividing the country’s most populous state, no state government had given any recommendation for carving out a new state.
But the demands continue to pour in.
“The demands for creation of separate states were received by the home ministry through representations from various organisations or individuals over the years,” a home ministry official said, according to PTI.
The demands for separate states are: In Uttar Pradesh, there have been demands for Awadh Pradesh, Poorvanchal, Bundelkhand and Paschimanchal or Harit Pradesh. There is also demand for creation of a Braj Pradesh, consisting of Agra division and Aligarh division of Uttar Pradesh and districts of Bharatpur and Gwalior from Rajasthan and MP. A demand for creation of Bhojpur comprising areas of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Chhattisgarh has also been received by the home ministry.
The most vocal demands for separate states came from Gorkhaland, by curving out Darjeeling and its adjoining areas in West Bengal.
Demands for Bodoland, comprising Bodo-dominated areas in Western Assam, and a separate state of Karbi Anglong, comprising the Karbi tribals living in areas under Karbi Anglong autonomous district in Assam, have also been pending with the Centre.

There is a demand for Mithilanchal comprising Maithili speaking regions of Bihar and Jharkhand.
The Centre has received demand for creation of Saurashtra by curving that region out of Gujarat. The Dimasa people of Northeast have been demanding a separate state called Dimaraji or Dimaland comprising the Dimasa-inhabited areas of Assam and Nagaland.
There is a demand for creation of Kongu Nadu comprising parts of southwest of Tamil Nadu, southeast of Karnataka and east of Kerala.
Demand for creating a Coorg state, comprising the Coorg region of Karnataka has also come to the Centre.
Representation has also received for creation of separate Kosal state comprising some districts of Orissa, parts of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh.
There is a demand for Tulu Nadu comprising a region on the border between Karnataka and Kerala.
The demand for separate Kukiland, comprising Kuki tribal inhabited areas in Manipur has also been raised.
A demand for creation of Konkan, comprising Konkani speaking part of Western India along the Arabian Sea coastline has also been raised.
There has been a demand for creation of Kamtapur comprising some districts of West Bengal, including Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri.
Some people from Garo regions of Meghalaya are demanding a new state of Garoland.
Besides, there is a demand for a separate Eastern Nagaland by curving out some parts of the Northeastern state.
The demand for creation of an Union Territory for Ladakh has also been pending with the home ministry. So far, India has 28 states and seven Union Territories.
Telangana will be the 29th state of the country.

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