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UJVP to launch stir if Bill is not introduced

By R P Nailwal
The Times of India News Service
17 July 2000

DEHRA DUN: Uttarakhand Jan Vikas Party declared here on Sunday that it would launch a stir in all the 12 hill districts if the Uttar Pradesh Reorganisation Bill 2000 is not introduced on the first day of the next monsoon session of Parliament as promised by the BJP-led Central governemnt.

This decision was taken at a special meeting of the central committee, comprising founder-members of the party here Sunday afternoon. At the meeting, most of the members expressed doubts about the presentation of the Bill which will lead to the formation of Uttarakhand state. .

In fact, in an unusual of dilution of its stand on the formation of the proposed state the members also agreed to accept Union Territory status for the region for the time being if the government was facing any hurdles in the creation of the new state. “We do not mind a Union Territory status with a bicameral legislature,if the government so decides but we will not demand that in writing”, party chief S S Pangtey told the committee. He said that initially the erstwhile Deve Gowda government at Centre was in favour of a Union Territory status for Uttarakhand.

This for the first time that any political party has come out so openly in favour of Union Territory status even while local units of the parties like BJP, Congress or Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) are continuously agitating for the formation of a full-fledged state.

“For the next ten years,the entire hilly region can be administered by the Union government with the help of local assembly and later it can be accorded statehood when it is ready”, said Vimla Nautiyal, vice-chairman of the party.

The chairman of the party Pangtey disclosed before the members that being a senior IAS officer in Uttar Pradesh government he knew that the erstwhile Deve Gowda government at the Centre was quite in favour of giving Union Territory status to the Uttarakhand region. He was principal secretary to Uttaranchal development department during that period.

Mr Pangtey said the present Bill which is likely to be introduced in parliament has several inconsistencies and Jan Vikas Party had submitted some 25 amendments to the Bill to Prime Minister and Union home minister. “These will have to be carried out before the Bill is passed”, he said. Copies of the suggested amendments have been also distributed to some political parties. The newly-formed party comprising of most of retired bureaucrats and army officers disagreed with the ways of some of local outfits spearheading the Uttarakahnd agitation under different sangarsh samitis (agitational committees or fronts).”In some of these self- styled samities,some wrong and doubtful elements have entered and we want them out”,said P C Tapliyal secretary of the party. All the founder members agreed with the party’s resolve that unlike other local outfits,their party will not give a call for frequent bandhs or chakkajams.”Such methods generally alienate people”, observed Chaman Lal Pradyot, a party leader and former additional director-general of police also resolved to fight liquor and land mafia which had spread its tentacles all over the hilly region. It will identify elements which are causing regular losses to the region in different ways. Help from large number of former defence personnel will also be taken in this regard.

“We have already distributed 1.5 lakh pamphlets in the rural belt to awaken the people”,informed Jagdish Negi, a party worker who contested Pauri parliamentary seat on party ticket in the last parliamentary polls.