Lucknow: Ahead of Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, the demand for separate Purvanchal state has become a burning issue among the smaller political parties. Echoing voices over the bifurcation of the state, the political leaders are trying to give an extra edge to the issue in their rallies and public gatherings for the forthcoming UP election.

Expressing dire need to form a new state, BJP and BSP leaders claim it as an important issue to be looked into. Janwadi Party leader, Dr Sanjay Chauhan, who is holding a rally from Ballia to Lucknow this week, has been raising voice over the rights of SC/ST’s in the state and demands Purvanchal Pradesh in Eastern UP.

On a similar note, former Quami Ekta Dal led by former MLA, Afzal Ansari and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) leader Omprakash Rajbhar have started series of rallies and public gatherings to apprise people about bifurcation of state.

The issue is expected to gain momentum in December and January with the Lok Manch party leader, Amar Singh’s announcement to hold foot rally in 15 districts of the Purvanchal region.

The demand for the separate eastern state was first raised by Ghazipur MLA, Vishwanath Singh Gahmari in 1962. During that time, the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru formed Patel Commission, which was left in abeyance since its formation. Later Sen Committee was formed, whose reports were left in negligence.