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Bihar CM Nitish takes a U-turn on his comments endorsing division of UP


November 21, 2011 - Patna

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday took a U-turn from his earlier stand on the division of Uttar Pradesh, and said that he never intended to comment upon a particular case, such as division of the state, as recently proposed by Mayawati.

"Our remark on this should be seen in the right way. Our remark was not directly related to Uttar Pradesh or any other state, but my remark was based on principles that we have always had this opinion that if the size of the states is small according to our expectations, but being small does not imply that you make a single district into state," he said.

Strongly supporting the decision of the Mayawati Government to divide Uttar Pradesh into four smaller parts, Nitish Kumar had last week said the division of the state would ensure better management and future development.

"We all support the creation of smaller states. The central government and Uttar Pradesh government has to take a decision on this issue. Bihar was divided into two states. A separate state, Jharkhand was formed. In comparison to the old Bihar, Uttar Pradesh is a bigger state. The area of Uttar Pradesh is double the size of the current Bihar state and the population is also twice the number," said Kumar.

"In this situation, what matters is the manner in which the creation will take place. Before this, there was a demand to create Telangana state. There has been a demand for the creation of different states from different areas. Accordingly, they have to decide," he added.

Mayawati had earlier announced that the state would be reorganised into four smaller states - Bundelkhand, Awadh Pradesh, Poorvanchal and Paschim Pradesh.

Nitish Kumar, who is widely touted as the pro-development chief minister, further said that he wanted to reduce migration of the natives from Bihar by bringing about development in the region.

"Bihar is developing, people are getting employed and this will gradually increase, so to prevent them to migrate to other places, I had said in my 2005 Nyaya Yatra (Justice procession) in the first public rally that no one should be helpless enough to go to other places to earn a livelihood. If someone migrates to other places for better prospects, then they are welcome to do so," he said.

Nitish Kumar began his 'Sewa Yatra' on November 9 with an aim to assess the development that had taken place in the state as well as receive feedback on the 'Right to Service' act implemented by him earlier this year.

Kumar would cover various districts in a span of about 100 days.

During his visit, he would undertake surprise inspections, with an aim to see if the bureaucrats in the state performed their duty with honesty and integrity.

In the last six years, Kumar has undertaken six 'yatras' after taking over as the chief minister.

Divulging the details of his meeting with a Chinese delegation headed by its Vice-President Most Ven on Sunday, Kumar said that they expressed that a large number of Buddhists from China were interested in visiting the country, especially various Buddhist pilgrimages in Bihar.

"I have come from China this time and I had met them yesterday. I had met the Chinese Buddhist Association's Vice-President in China. I had quite a long discussion with him and he had then said that a lot of people want to go there. Under him a group of people has come on a visit to Bihar, today they are in Bodh Gaya and they would proceed to Nalanda, Rajgir and other places too.," said Kumar.

"So, during yesterday's discussion, the prime focus was on how more and more people want to come," he added.

The nine-member delegations were on a pilgrimage to various tourist destinations like Rajgir, Nalanda and Bodh Gaya in Bihar.

ANI

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