Will carve separate State of Bundelkhand if come to power, says Mayawati

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Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday said if her party is voted to power, it will carve a separate state of Bundelkhand — the region that straddles the states of Uttar Pradesh Madhya Pradesh.

Addressing an election rally in Jhansi, Mayawati said, “There have been demands for carving a separate Bundelkhand state. If our government is formed (at the Centre), then we will take positive steps in this regard. Bundelkhand will definitely be made a separate state.”

Bundelkhand is a hilly region spread across 13 districts in southwest Uttar Pradesh and northern Madhya Pradesh.

Seven districts in Uttar Pradesh — Banda, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Lalitpur, Jhansi, Jalaun, and Chitrakoot — and eight districts in Madhya Pradesh — Datia, Tikamgarh, Chhattarpur, Sagar, Damoh, and Panna — come in this region. The BSP chief also claimed that it “would not be easy” for the current BJP-led NDA to return to power, provided “the elections are free and fair,” and the EVMs are not tampered with.

“For the past few years, the BJP and its allies have been in power at the Centre in most of the states. Owing to the casteist, capitalist, narrow, and vindictive policies and their style of working, and due to the significant difference in their actions and words, it now seems that it would not be easy for them to return to power at the Centre, provided these elections are free and fair,” she said.

People are fed up with the theatrics and rhetoric and they won’t work anymore for the BJP in this election, she said.

Mayawati alleged that the BJP has “politicised” all central agencies under it, just as its predecessor, Congress, had done.

Urging her party workers to stop the BJP, the Congress, and their allies from coming to power at the Centre, she told them “not to get misled by the opinion polls and surveys,” and warned them against the “saam, daam, dand, bhed” tactics of political parties.

The former UP chief minister criticised the free ration policy of the Centre, saying the dole alone cannot be a permanent fix to problems of the poor.

“The free ration, which is being given to you, the BJP and RSS is not giving them out of their own pockets. It comes from the tax which is paid by the public and not out of the beneficence of the BJP and the RSS. You don’t owe them anything,” said the Kanshiram protege.

Jhansi will vote in the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha polls in the state on May 20. The BSP has fielded Ravi Prakash from the constituency.

The BJP has fielded Anurag Sharma, its sitting Lok Sabha MP, while the Congress has given ticket to former Union minister Pradeep Jain ‘Aditya’.

(With inputs from agencies)

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