M A I N   N E W S

Rahul’s Amethi now a dist but with new name
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, July 1
Upholding a decision of the Allahabad High Court, the Mayawati government today renamed Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi’s constituency of Amethi as Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Nagar.

District Magistrate of Pilibhit, Jagdish Prasad, was announced as the DM of the newly created district on Thursday evening.

Besides formally implementing the HC decision for creation of a separate district, the state Cabinet, presided over by Chief Minister Mayawati, also decided to rename the present district of Kanpur dehat to Ramabai Nagar after the first wife of Dr BR Ambedkar.

On March 26 this year, the Lucknow Bench of the HC had given three month’s time to the state government to consider constitution of the new Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Nagar district which was till now known as Amethi and was part of Sultanpur district.

The Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice Amitabha Lala and Justice Anil Kumar had given the directive on a petition filed by an advocate, Uma Shanker Pandey.

The court has asked the UP Government to consider the re-creation of the separate Amethi district that was carved out of by including three tehsils of Sultanpur and two tehsils of Rae Bareli.

During a “savdhaan rally”(caution rally) in Amethi in December 2002, Mayawati had announced the creation of the district. The district was formally created on May 21, 2003.

When the Mulayam Singh Yadav government assumed power later that year, it cancelled the notification for the formation of the nine districts and three divisions. In May 2004, the court had restored the remaining district but the matter of a separate Amethi district had remained pending.

The provocation for the sudden creation of a separate district of Amethi by the Mayawati government seven years ago was more political than administrative.

The new Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj nagar district has an area of 3,070 sq km with 5 tehsils — Amethi, Gauriganj and Musafirkhana of Sultanpur district and Salon and Tiloi tehsils of Rae Bareli districts. It would have 16 blocks, 17 police stations and 401 lekhpal areas. The headquarters would be at Gauriganj.

Criticising the BSP government, Samajwadi general secretary Ram Gopal Yadav accused Mayawati of projecting icons of only one community. He charged the CM of blatantly wasting public money by installing stones statues and memorials.

BJP state president SP Shahi described the move as a political plan. “Ground reality rather than political considerations should dictate creation of new districts and tehsils,” said Shahi.

He also lambasted the BSP government for naming districts, universities and institutions after people who have made no contribution to the state. “The Mayawati government has completely ignored the martyrs of 1857. It could have chosen a world-renowned littérateur, freedom fighter or saint belonging to the state,” added Shahi.





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