Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Friday charged the Centre of attempting to clamp central rule in Bundelkhand region that is spread across parts of UP and Madhya Pradesh.
Close on the heels of the letter that she sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday, Mayawati shot off yet another letter one Friday, saying, "The reported creation of an independent Bundelkhand Development Authority appears to be an attempt by the United Progressive Alliance government to impose central rule through the backdoor in the region."
Political analysts believe that even though Mayawati was fully aware that such an authority was yet to be formally constituted, she hastily sent the letters to stall any such attempts by the government.
Disclosing the contents of the letter at a press conference in Lucknow, UP Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said, "This letter was issued by the chief minister in the wake of media reports, confirming the setting up of the Bundelkhand Development Authority, about which there has been no official communication from the Centre so far."
Though he flatly denied any kind of coordination on the issue with the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Madhya Pradesh, the MP government slammed the Centre's move at a press conference held on the same day in Bhopal.
While terming the Centre's move as an infringement on the state's autonomy and against the federal spirit of the Constitution, Singh said, "The UP CM seeks to know what had prompted the central government to set up such an independent authority for this region now -- when it has remained backward and neglected for 60 years since independence ?"
In her letter to the PM, Mayawati said, "It appears that this was being done only because Bundelkhand -- which forms part of UP and Madhya Pradesh -- is currently ruled by opposition parties."
The UP chief minister's letter further argues, "even though there are several such areas in the two bordering states, which were a cultural entity like Bundelkhand, that had never been seen as the basis for creating a centrally controlled authority for the development of this region."
Mayawati cites the example of Vidharbha region in Maharastra, where the central government provided a special economic package, instead of 'using the backdoor' to bring the area under their control.
"As such, there is no reason why such a move should be initiated for Bundelkhand, for which the real need of the hour is sanctioning a good economic package," she has emphasised, while pointing out, "after all, there is an administrative system already in place for the governance of the region in the form of two state governments, so where is the need for a parallel entity?"