Nagpur, June 25: Former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma has strongly advocated creation of Telangana and Vidarbha states and said the Centre should forthwith grant statehood to these two regions owing to the long pending demand.
"I am of the opinion that India should have at least 50 states like the United States of America," Sangma said last night.
UPA should carve out Telangana and Vidarbha states and set up a second State Reorganisation Commission (SRC) to carry out scientific study over demands for new states like Bundelkhand, Harit Pradesh and other regions, he said.
Recalling the one-man committee headed by him to study the case of Vidarbha region, Sangma said he had duly recommended the creation of the new state and the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was about to make an announcement before the general elections but somehow, he was advised by some others not to do so in a hurry.
Sangma made an observation that during the period that a whopping Rs 700 crores was paid as cotton subsidy from the state exchequer which could upset the economics of Vidarbha. It was an apprehension at that time, he said.
Sangma, who founded the National People's Party (NPP) earlier this year, has been consolidating his base among the tribals in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Bihar. He is initially concentrating on states which are going to polls later this year, including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan.
To get status of a national party, his party would field candidates during the Assembly polls, the leader said.
Sangma was in the neighbouring Chhindwara district yesterday to broker peace among three warring factions of the tribal-dominated Gondwana party to unitedly put up a fight in the elections scheduled there around the year end.