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Awadh region to be carved into separate state if BSP forms govt at Centre, says Mayawati

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Lucknow, May 13 (PTI) The Awadh region will be carved into a separate state if the BSP comes to power at the Centre after the Lok Sabha elections, party chief Mayawati said on Monday.

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Mayawati made the promise while addressing a rally for the Bahujan Samaj Party's (BSP) candidates in Lucknow, Mohanlalganj, Rae Bareli and Amethi.

Reiterating her old stance on the reorganisation of Uttar Pradesh, she said, "The people of the region have been demanding that Awadh should be carved into a separate state. When our party comes to power at the Centre, the region will be made into a separate state, which will also include Lucknow." In November 2011, the then-state government headed by Mayawati passed a bill to divide Uttar Pradesh into four states -- Purvanchal, Paschim Pradesh, Awadh Pradesh and Bundelkhand.

However, the then-United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre sent the proposal back to the state, demanding several clarifications.

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In her speech, Mayawati also criticised the Congress, the BJP and other opposition parties on the issue of reservation.

When the Samajwadi Party was in power in Uttar Pradesh, the then-chief minister Akhilesh Yadav abolished quotas for reserved categories in promotion of government employees, she said.

The BSP tried to raise the matter in Parliament when the Congress was in power and the BJP in opposition. At that time, both the parties did not support the BSP but, today, when elections are being held, they are talking about giving reservations, Mayawati added.

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She also claimed that the country's first law minister Bhimrao Ambedkar had asked the then-prime minister Jawahar Lal Nehru to form a commission to completely fill the reservation quota for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes categories but the Congress was not ready for it.

"As a result, Ambedkar resigned from his post. Similarly, during the VP Singh government at the Centre, implementation of the Mandal Commission's recommendations by his government was opposed by all opposition parties, including the Congress and the BJP. The mentality of these parties towards these classes has not changed," she added.

Referring to the Centre's free ration scheme, Mayawati said, "In return for the little ration that is being given to you, people of the BJP are going from village to village and saying that you have consumed their salt and should vote for them." "But I want to tell you that the ration given to you for free does not come from the pockets of the BJP and the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) but from your tax money. This is not a favour from the BJP and the RSS," she added. PTI SLM ABN ABN SZM

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