Ahead of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday announced formation of three new districts in the state drawing sharp reaction from the Opposition which dubbed the move as politically-motivated.
Addressing public meetings at Sambhal and Hapur, the Chief Minister announced the formation of Prabuddha Nagar, Panchsheel Nagar and Bhim Nagar as new districts.
With these the total number of districts in the state would rise to 75, officials said in Lucknow.
The step was in line with dalit icon Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s thinking that small units help in better administration, the Chief Minister said in Sambhal.
“BSP has always been in favour of smaller states, and new districts and divisions have been set up in all my previous regimes,” she said
Mayawati said she favoured trifurcation of the state and had written a letter to the Union government in this regard.
However, the Centre “never cared to reply”, she added.
Reacting to Mayawati’s announcement, BJP state president Surya Pratap Shahi said she did nothing during her rule except building parks and statues.
“Now she wants to gain political mileage ahead of polls by announcing formation of three new districts,” he said.
The Samajawadi Party said the move amounted to playing fraud with the people on the eve of Assembly elections.
“It is a fraud with the people of the state,” SP state unit chief Akhilesh Yadav said.
Congress spokesman Subodh Srivastava said “mere creation of new districts and posting of officials do not ensure development”.
Prabuddha Nagar will be carved out of Muzaffarnagar district and will have its headquarters in Shamli.
Panchsheel Nagar will include Garh Mukteshwar, Hapur and Daulana tehsils of Ghaziabad district.
Bhim Nagar will be carved out of Morababad and Badaun districts, the officials said.
Mayawati, during her current and previous regimes, had created Ambedkar Nagar, Mahamaya Nagar, Jyotiba Phule Nagar, Rama Bai Nagar, Sant Kabir Nagar, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Kanshi Ram Nagar and Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Nagar as districts.
Talking about reservations for Muslims and Jats, the Chief Minister said quotas as per their population had become necessary and she had written a letter to the Union government in this connection.
Mayawati, on a tour of western part of the state to review developmental works, also favoured a High Court bench in western UP.