One does not want a situation like Andhra Pradesh and Telangana during the creation of Bundelkhand state, BJP candidate from Jhansi Anurag Sharma said Saturday, noting that its formation remains an "uphill" task as the state's viability has to be ensured.
The 55-year old managing director of Baidyanath, an Ayurvedic behemoth, has taken a plunge into politics after a successful career at the family-run business. However, it is not alien territory for Sharma. His father, Pandit Vishwanath Mishr, was a member of Parliament twice, once from Jhansi as a Congress candidate and once from Hamirpur on BJP ticket.
Taking this political legacy forward, Sharma will face the electorate on April 29 when the Jhansi-Lalitpur seat goes to polls. He has already been heading the 'Bundelkhand Ekikaran Samiti' for the creation of separate Bundelkhand state. When asked about his views on the separate state as a candidate of the BJP, he said, "We will have to work towards it but it is an uphill task.
I realise that because we have to take parts from two states and assemble them into one whole state." Underlining that smaller states are more effective, Sharma said he would sensitise the government as to how it can be turned into a "successful state".
"You do not want to have a state like Andhra and Telangana where they have this huge fight. The BJP has always done this in a very systematic in a thoughtful manner. The Congress made a hash of it. (We have to) make sure it is a viable state," he said.
Asked about the different approaches of the BJP which is projecting Sharma as a development-oriented person, while giving ticket to Pragya Thakur, a controversial figure, from Bhopal, Sharma limited his comment to his candidature, saying the party was looking for a person who has worked with the farmers and has a clean image.
He said Bundelkhand was never polarised either on communal or social lines but the 'Mahagathbandhan' was trying to divide the society on caste lines which was "unfortunate".
On a question of polarising speech by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on "Ali and Bajrangbali", Sharma said he does know not in what context those comments were made. "When he came to Bundelkhand, he talked about development in the area.
He reminded about the pride associated with this 'Veer Bhumi'. I don't remember him making any such statement from the stage here," Sharma said. He said migration can be stopped from Bundelkhand region if minor irrigation system is developed which can provide water to farmers in their fields and potable water is provided to households for drinking purposes. He said urgent measures are needed for stopping depletion of ground water and its recharging.
"We have huge dams but former state governments have not taken care of desilting. We must take lessons from the Madhya Pradesh government under Shivraj Singh Chauhan who has done immense work in maintenance of dams on their side," he said.