20 January, 2021

The Ethnified Nation

More than India's political map, the creation of new states could redraw political alignments

The Ethnified Nation

The passage of the State (Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh) Reorganisation Bills in the Lok Sabha last week will not only redraw the map of India - Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand will now become the 26th, 27th and 28th states of the Union - but also throw up a clutch of new chief ministers, provide national parties an opportunity to govern new states and even possibly bring about a fresh political realignment.

It has other ramifications too. For one, Laloo Prasad Yadav - who'd earlier declared "Jharkhand will be created over my dead body" - should feel enthused, at least in the short term. After years of having done flip-flops on the Jharkhand issue, the rjd leader has reluctantly reconciled himself to losing the state's storehouse of mineral wealth. The sweetener is that Laloo's political clout has been enhanced. He will now no longer be dependent on Congress support in Bihar, boasting as his party does 114 mlas in the truncated 243-member Vidhan Sabha. Just eight short of a majority, Laloo can count on the Left parties, the bsp and independents to...



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