Politics of division seems to pay in India. This is why Congress seems to have gone ahead with splitting Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana.
While the party is being pilloried over the Telangana decision, Congress appeared to have bet on past experience of creation of new states resulting in handsome electoral gains.
Electorally, newly carved states have come handy for the ruling party at the centre.
In the year 2000, BJP led NDA government created three new states – Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Jharkhand. The saffron party reaped benefits from its decision in elections held thereafter.
In Chhattisgarh’s Vidhan Sabha BJP has been a major party since first election took place in the state. While in 2003 and 2008, the saffron party bagged 50 seats each; in 2013 BJP cornered 49 assembly constituencies. The state has 90 assembly constituencies. Likewise, both in 2004 and 2009 general elections, BJP party bagged 10 out of 11 parliamentary seats.
Although BJP didn’t gain initially in Uttarakhand yet gradually it has become a political force to reckon with in the state. In 2002 assembly election while the party got 19 out of 70 seats, in 2007 and 2012, BJP bagged 34 and 31 seats respectively. In 2004 Lok Sabha while party got three seats, it lost all five seats in the state during 2009 general elections.
Similarly, BJP has a strong hold in Jharkhand carved out of Bihar. In 2005 assembly election the party got 30 seats and in 2009 18 seats went to the party. This was when former BJP CM Babulal Marandi resigned and formed his new outfit. The saffron party improved its tally from one seat in 2004 to seven in 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
Politics apart the creation of new states has resulted in good economics as well. On select socio economic parameters, new states carved under NDA rule have done well and in fact outdone the erstwhile parent state.
For instance, the traditional backward Indian regions of late 90’s (Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh) are now leading the charge in terms of economic growth rate. In the last five fiscal years, barring Chhattisgarh average GDP growth rate of newly formed states (Uttarakhand and Jharkhand) have nearly surpassed the overall growth rate of the country.
The electoral prospect on a positive socio economic performance, however, is bound to raise the pitch further for creation of more states for the new government at centre. The wish list is as always on the rise.
Demand for separate states includes Awadh Pradesh, Poorvanchal, Bundelkhand and Harit Pradesh in Uttar Pradesh. There is also demand for creation of a Braj Pradesh comprising Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district, Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh and two districts in UP, Aligarh and Agra.
There is also clamor for creation of a Bhojpur state comprising areas of UP, Bihar and Chhattisgarh. In Maharashtra, there is an old demand for creation of Vidharbha state. Demand for Gorkhaland in West Bengal and Bodoland in Assam have also been pending with the centre.
The new states in demand include Mithilanchal (Bihar), Saurashtra (Gujarat), Dimasa (Assam), Kongu Nadu (Tamil Nadu), Coorg (Karnataka), Kosal (Odisha), Tulu Nadu (Karnataka), Kukiland (Manipur), Kamtapur (West Bengal), Garo (Meghalaya) et al.