Demand for Separate 'Braj Pradesh' Gains Momentum

Agra, Dec 26 (IANS) After Harit Pradesh, Purvanchal and Bundelkhand, the demand for the creation of yet another state in north India has gained momentum. This time it is Braj Pradesh, comprising Rajasthan's Bharatpur district, Gwalior district of Madhya Pradesh and two districts in Uttar Pradesh, Aligarh and Agra.

The demand has found the backing of business chambers, merchant associations and political parties in Agra, Firozabad, Aligarh and Mathura.

Business leaders and social activists from Agra and neighbouring districts got together here Friday evening and announced an action programme to involve the masses to speed up the formation of Braj Pradesh, which would have Agra as its capital.

K.S. Rana, an educationist, presented a concept paper that set out the priorities, justification, population figures and the map of the proposed state of Braj Pradesh, which according to him has a "unique cultural identity".

A map of the proposed state was circulated. Detailing the cultural commonalities, Rana told IANS: "The language spoken in the area is Braj Bhasha and the presiding deity is (Hindu god) Krishna".

Members of business groups said Uttar Pradesh was too big and unwieldy, resulting in backwardness and corruption. "A separate and more compact state of Braj Pradesh would speed up developmental processes," said industrialist K.K. Paliwal.

A resolution adopted unanimously constituted the Braj Pradesh Nirman Morcha to further their cause.

Supporters of the new state from Hathras, Aligarh and Mathura alleged step-motherly treatment meted out to districts in western Uttar Pradesh, which contributes over 70 percent revenue to the state exchequer.

Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh's demand for Harit Pradesh, which includes Meerut and Bareilley divisions in addition to Agra and Aligarh, did not find favour at the Friday meeting.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has herself sought partition of the state. She has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for creation of Bundelkhand and Harit Pradesh states and has also asked for Purvanchal region in the eastern part to be given statehood.



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