The Times of India News Service
August 7, 2000
LUCKNOW: Ruling out any possibility of bitterness with Uttar Pradesh after Uttaranchal comes into existence, Union minister of state for science and technology Bacchi Singh Rawat said on Sunday that UP would remain Uttaranchal’s “big brother”.
While admitting that various theories were being floated in the media about potential sore areas in future, the minister said, “the Bill passed by the Lok Sabha was comprehensive and had been drafted in such fashion so as to avoid confrontation in future.”
As a representative of Uttaranchal, Rawat also thanked the Union Government and all political parties which supported the Bill. On differences within the UP government over inclusion of Haridwar and Udham
Singh Nagar in the new state, the minister said the “sound of protests were more political than serious.”
He, however, added in the same breath that allies like LCP would be cajoled to agree on the issue and that interests of all would be protected in the new state. On viability of Uttaranchal, the minister
said the state was rich in mineral resources, water reserves and forest areas and hence such apprehensions were “unfounded”.
Tourism and pilgrim circuits “which were in plenty in Uttaranchal” would be developed and promoted after statehood. Rawat also scoffed at rumours that the creation of separate hill cadre would lead to acrimony. “There would be no pressure on anyone and a separate public service commission would oversee new appointments,” Rawat declared.
On being asked whether the chief minister of Uttaranchal would be from the interim legislative assembly comprising 22 MLAs and eight MLCs, the minister skirted the issue and said “whatever the BJP leadership would decide would be binding on them.”
He said “the new CM could be from outside the Assembly if the party thought it so.” In his opinion, however, he clarified that he would prefer a person from the legislative assembly for the top post.
Accompanied with MLAs from the proposed state and the state minister for forests Banshi Dhar Bhagat, he also announced that August 12 would be celebrated as `Vijay Diwas’ instead of `Uttaranchal Diwas” as in past.