UP Congress leaders meet PM on separate state issue

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New Delhi, Jan 11 (UNI) A delegation of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) today met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and raised the demand for carving out a separate state of Bundelkhand from the country's largest state.

Led by new UPCC Chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the delegation made a strong pitch for setting up the Second States Reorganisation Commission (SRC) to study the demand.

The UPCC had already sought the active intervention of AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi in support of its demand.

Asked why the Congress was suddenly demanding creation of a separate state in Uttar Pradesh, she said the party was not against smaller states.

On a question on increasing strains in the relationship between the Congress and the ruling BSP, She said if the Mulayam Singh government was bad, Mayawati is worse." Ms Joshi said later that Mrs Gandhi, who represents Amethi constituency in the Lok Sabha, would address a massive rally in Jhansi on January 17 to highlight the various issues, including the plight of the farmers.

In this context, she said more than 200 farmers had committed suicide since Chief Minister Mayawati assumed charge eight months ago.

She wanted the government to announce a special financial package for the drought-affected areas of Uttar Pradesh on the model of the one announced by the Prime Minister for the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra.

UNI SH AK AS0012

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