Rajasthan creates 19 new districts, BJP says it is a political move in poll year
Three new divisional headquarters have also been carved out, with Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot saying the decision would result in more effective administration.
The Rajasthan government on Friday announced the formation of 19 new districts and three more divisional headquarters. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that the decision was taken to make administrative offices more accessible to the residents of the state, NDTV reported.
However, the Bharatiya Janata Party said that the move had political motives and was taken keeping in mind the Assembly elections scheduled to be held later this year.
The new districts carved out are Anupgarh, Balotra, Beawar, Deeg, Didwana-Kuchaman, Dudu, Gangapur City, Jaipur North, Jaipur South, Jodhpur East, Jodhpur West, Kekri, Kotputli-Behror, Khairthal, Neem Ka Thana, Phalodi, Salumbar, Sanchore and Shahpura.
Following the move, Rajasthan will have a total of 50 districts. The three new divisional headquarters – in addition to existing seven – are Pali, Sikar and Banswara.
“Rajasthan is the biggest state in the country in terms of geographical area,” Gehlot said in the state Assembly on Friday, according to NDTV. “People are unable to reach district headquarters easily and the administration, too, is unable to reach each and every family.”
Smaller districts would help in maintaining law and order in a more effective manner and better administration, the chief minister said. He also proposed a budget of Rs 2,000 crore for developing infrastructure and human resources in the new districts.
The BJP criticised the move, pointing out that just six days ago, the state government had extended the tenure of the Ram Lubhaya Committee, which had been formed to give recommendations on formation of new districts.
“The CM extended the tenure of the Lubhaya Committee and stated there was a delay in receiving its report,” BJP MLA and deputy leader of the Opposition Rajendra Rathore said on Friday, according to The Times of India. “It is hard to understand how the 19 districts have now been announced without receiving the report.”
Former Chief Minister and BJP leader Vasundhara Raje said the decision was taken to fulfill political ends, NDTV reported. “The way in which new districts have been announced has put the [state] budget and economic structure at stake,” she said.
Notably, the BJP government in Assam had in December decided to merge four districts with four others. Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced that the Biswanath district will be merged with Sonitpur, Hojai with Nagaon, Bajali with Barpeta and Tamulpur with Baksa. The administrative jurisdiction of a few villages were also changed.
The decision was taken just a day before the the Election Commission’s ban on creating new administrative units in Assam comes into effect. The poll panel is undertaking a delimitation exercise that will involve demarcating boundaries of Assembly and parliamentary constituencies as well as civic wards