Hyderabad: A day after the government gave its green signal to the formation of the 29th state, Telangana, demands for more smaller states from different regions grew louder.
While Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati on Wednesday reiterated her demand to divide Uttar Pradesh into four new states, Civil Aviation Minister and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) chief Ajit Singh pressed for the creation of Harit Pradesh in western Uttar Pradesh. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s Uma Bharti demanded a separate Bundelkhand and Congress MP Jagdambika Pal batted for Poorvanchal in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
A bandh demanding Gorkhaland continued in West Bengal's hill district Darjeeling even as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the state will not be divided.
The government, on the other hand, said it has not "given any thought" so far to demands for newer states. "To the best of my knowledge, the government has not given any thought to that. The Telangana case is a standalone case," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said.
Meanwhile, it was celebration time in the Telangana region even as protests erupted in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra Pradesh. United Andhra Pradesh activists called for a bandh in nine coastal districts of the state and four districts of Rayalaseema. Protesters also threatened to stall bus services while a few schools were shut.
Politics also continued to play out on the issue. Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was allegedly against the division of the state, said he won't resign immediately. A few of Andhra Pradesh cabinet ministers are allegedly considering resigning from their posts. Some state leaders are even considering resigning from their membership in Parliament, said sources.
"I have submitted my resignation but it has not been accepted," Law Minister A Pratap Reddy said on Wednesday. Reddy has invited his cabinet colleagues from Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema for a meeting on Thursday evening even as ministers from the two regions remained evasive on their possible resignations, sources said.
Ironically, as the Congress party leaders in Andhra Pradesh protest their own party's decision, the principal opposition party the TDP is tacitly supporting it. "I am requesting the centre to earmark proper funds keeping in mind the importance of the state and its size," Chandra Babu Naidu said. But party's like the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), which is powerful in Hyderabad, claim the split will benefit the BJP.
(With additional information from PTI)