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Politics over change of name of Uttaranchal gaining ground
Deepti Saxena Dehradun, Apr 14 (PTI) What's in a name? In the hilly terrains of Uttaranchal, politics over change of name of the state to Uttarakhand is not just for namesake. It is much more.

Despite being a highly emotive issue, politics of changing of name of Uttaranchal to Uttarakhand has now entered a deadlock.

Nevertheless, with the assembly elections just a few months away, the shrill over the issue is growing gradually in the political circles.

Though the Uttaranchal assembly has passed a resolution for changing the name to Uttarakhand, a bill on the issue has not seen the light of the day in Parliament.

Casting the first stone, Uttarakahand Kranti Dal (UKD), a strong regional grouping in the state, has taken a potshot at the ruling Congress alleging that it has "deceived" the people of the state.

"There is no money involved in the issue but it looks as if the state government is not serious on it," UKD supremo Kashi Singh Airy said.

The UKD, which championed for the statehood movement in the 1990s as a precursor to carving out of the new state of Uttaranchal, has threatened to launch a movement over the issue. "This is election year. And Congress cannot just shirk its responsibility," Airy said.

Significantly, the Congress manifesto had said it would change the name of the state to Uttarakhand within six months of coming to power. The party came to power in 2002 and it took three years to bring a formal resolution in the state assembly regarding the same. Since then, there has been no progress on the issue.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) state president Surya Kant Dhasmana justified the demand for change of the name saying the government must respect the sentiments of people.

Though the statehood agitation began on the name of Uttarakhand, it was the BJP which brought the bill in Parliament on Uttaranchal. But prior to this, the Uttar Pradesh assembly had also passed a resolution for the carving out of Uttarakhand.

PCC president Harish Rawat, who is making fervent efforts in this regard, said "I have taken up this issue several times in Parliament. But I am confident that a bill would come in the next monsoon session." Earlier, he had claimed the bill would be passed in the budget session itself.

Significantly, BJP has chosen to remain silent on the issue.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
FILED IN: |Uttarakhand
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