By: PTI | New Delhi | Published: June 8, 2018 8:45:01 pm
“The full statehood issue should be reviewed but the attitude of Arvind Kejriwal and the way he confronts the office of LG and the Centre has held the process hostage,” Tiwari told reporters. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)
BJP leader Manoj Tiwari on Friday said that the AAP’s demand for full statehood to Delhi should be looked into but Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s “attitude” to confront the Centre and the LG has held the process hostage.
The Delhi BJP chief alleged that the ruling party was raising the full statehood issue now to divert public attention away from “alarming water crisis” in the city and reports of it approaching the Congress for a political alliance ahead of the Lok Sabha election next year.
“The full statehood issue should be reviewed but the attitude of Arvind Kejriwal and the way he confronts the office of LG and the Centre has held the process hostage,” Tiwari told reporters.
Delhi government ministers and Lt Governor Anil Baijal have been at loggerheads over several administrative issues, including a project to install CCTV cameras in the city and its proposed doorstep delivery of essential services.
Granting full statehood to Delhi is one of the main electoral promises of the AAP, in the absence of which it has frequently clashed with the BJP-led Centre over matters of jurisdiction since coming to power for the second time in 2015. The government had drafted a bill for full statehood two years ago but the matter lingered on without any conclusion.
Unveiled in May 2016, the draft bill envisaged complete administrative power, including police, law and order and land to the Delhi government, leaving governance of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area with the Union government.
But Tiwari on Friday questioned Kejriwal’s “seriousness” on the issue. “If he is serious on full statehood why is he shying away from attending a special session of Delhi Assembly on the issue,” he said. Water shortage is affecting a number of people in Delhi, while the AAP government is “unable” to address the situation, he said, adding that reports say the party is trying to form an alliance with the Congress for next Lok Sabha elections.
“Both these issues are enough to wipe out AAP politically and its leaders are trying to divert attention of the people from it by raising the full statehood demand,” Tiwari said.
On June 6, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the assembly listed his government’s proposals, including appointment of an anti-corruption ombudsman and implementation of decentralisation initiative Swaraj. He said these proposals were stuck because of “interference” by the Centre and the lt governor.
Tabling a government resolution seeking full statehood for Delhi, Sisodia then said there were “flaws” in the system which was why an elected government did not have power.
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