Left on the backburner for the past three years, demand for a separate Bundlekhand resurfaced on Saturday. Actor-turned-political activist Raja Bundela floated Bundelkhand Congress and said it would contest all 37 seats in the region without alliance with any other party in the coming Assembly election to keep "outsiders at bay". "This political outfit, manned by the sons and daughters of Bundelkhand, will highlight the misery of their native land," Bundela, convener of Bundelkhand Mukti Morcha, said.
Bundela, who has had a 11-year-long association with the Congress before he decided to call it quits and go it alone, told TOI: "Bundelkhand continues to be the most backward and poorest in the state despite seven ministers hailing from the region. More than 500 farmers from the region have committed suicide and a much hyped visit by the Prime Minister and Rahul Gandhi has failed to provide any succor." Bundelkhand Congress, he added, will ensure that those having the decisive say in the affairs of Bundelkhand belong here. "We demand our own CM and very own DM and no outsider to come and rule over us," Bundela said.
He warned of an impending "civil war" if the problems and issues of the affected populace were not heeded to. "The common man here has waited for more than 64 years for basic amenities. His patience is wearing thin now."
Discussing his disillusionment with the Congress, he said that the party did not care for an autonomous Bundelkhand. "They are instead focused on development package and development council. Even Rahul Gandhi, who had promised a separate Bundelkhand soon to be carved out of UP during the meeting of UPCC's first coordination committee meeting at Jhansi, had gone back on his word," he claimed.
All parties in the state have ruled by dividing this region on the basis of caste or playing the dynasty card. And now with elections round the corner, every politician worth his name is trying to hitch on to the Bundelkhand bandwagon. But this farce needs to be exposed now, he said.
So what does the Bundelkhand Congress promises the electorate? "Homecoming of the 63% migrants who are left in search of employment, free education to all, security to industrialists who plan to revive the dead sector and 50% reservation to women to ensure their participation in policy making ." The charter also promises the party would put an end to the farmers suicide. "In case a farmer ends his life, the officer in charge of the area will be held accountable for it."
"We have no Kalmadis or Yeddys to shield and Bundelkhand Congress is starting on a clean slate.This is reason enough why people will prefer it over the tainted rivals," Bundela declared.