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Jairam Ramesh for Vidharba but not Gorkhaland; wants four states from UP

Monday, 24 February 2014 - 8:55pm IST | Agency: PTI

Even as the Telangana cauldron simmers, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh has said that he supports formation of a separate Vidarbha state, but is opposed to the idea of carving out Gorkhaland and Bodoland.

Ramesh, who had just days ago made a strong pitch for division of Uttar Pradesh, said that the state was ungovernable in its present forms and could be split into as many as four states.

He said he would not support formation of Gorkhaland because of strategic issues, but would support formation of Vidarbha if all parties involved agree to the demand. "I would not support Gorkhaland...there are strategic issues involved in Gorkhaland. I would not be in support of Bodoland, but Vidarbha has been a demand in the past. In case of Vidarbha the NCP seems to be in favour, the BJP too seems to be in favour. Only the Shiv Sena needs to be brought on board," the Union Minister said in an interview to a news channel.

He added that he also supported division of Uttar Pradesh as it was ungovernable with its current architecture. "This is my personal view and not the view of the Congress party or the Government of India. I believe that UP with its current architecture is ungovernable. It is a state of over 200 million people, 74 or 75 districts, 800 blocks. No political party can govern UP effectively the way the state is configured," Ramesh said.

The Union Minister added that the reorganisation of UP could be into 2, 3 or 4 states, which has to be looked into. "It could be 2 or 3 or 4 (states)...that needs to be looked at. I think we need to look at UP. This is where the heartland of India lies and in the States Reorganisation Committee, there was a specific recommendation for carving out a separate state of Agra," Ramesh said.

When asked whether the Congress would be wiped out in Seemandhra in the upcoming elections, Ramesh stated that he does not think so. "I am not so sure of that...I am not sure that is automatic that we are going to wiped out in Seemandhra. We have taken great pains to ensure that the interest and concerns of Seemandhra are fully protected. Seemandhra has got a very good developmental package even though Telangana has been created," the Minister for Rural Development said.

He added that the decision to grant special status category to Seemandhra will go to the National Development Council (NDC) for ratification. "In case of Seemandhra, it was losing the entire state revenue that was going to be generated in the region of Hyderabad, which will accrue to Telangana. Its resource base will become considerably weak and in order to compensate for that the special status category is being given for five years. It will go the NDC and get ratified," Ramesh said. 


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