Kejri may spark statehood debate after civic poll results

Kejri may spark statehood debate after civic poll results

Delhi Secretariat was abuzz on Monday with talk of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal releasing the draft of an Assembly resolution seeking full statehood for Delhi.

 As the social media became active discussing the possibility of Kejriwal making public his vision on statehood, some AAP functionaries indicated that the matter may be taken up after the results on Tuesday of municipal corporation bypolls. Polling was on Sunday.

 “The Chief Minister may address the media later this week before releasing the draft document,” said a Kejriwal aide.

 Once the draft resolution is released in public domain, the AAP government is planning to appoint a core group to receive public suggestions, he said.

 “The thorny issue of control over police could be tackled by having two separate forces, one guarding the NDMC area and the other for the rest of the city,” said an AAP functionary.

The Kejriwal government is also demanding greater say in matter related to land – something which currently falls in the domain of Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.  
 Any change in the scheme for division of power between the elected Delhi government and the Centre would need enactment of law in Parliament.

 Earlier, in the month Kejriwal said a draft bill for statehood of the national capital was ready.

 “Draft bill for statehood of Delhi ready. Will be soon placed in public domain for comments and suggestions from the public,” the AAP leader had said in a tweet.
 According to former Delhi Chief Secretary Omesh Saigal said the issue of statehood had been raised by earlier Delhi governments but despite discussions not much headway could be made.

 He said the concept of keeping the NDMC area under central control and the remain area under the elected government was floated by the Congress government but there was no unanimity on it.

 “A majority of parliamentarians want the central government to control Delhi Police and ensure their security in the national capital,” he said.

 Any change in the distribution of powers will now require a constitutional amendment and the MPs will have a say in it, he said.

 Kejriwal had prominently included full statehood for Delhi in the manifesto for the last Assembly polls. The BJP, however, made a tactful U-turn ahead of the February Assembly polls in 2015 and dropped the demand for full statehood for Delhi from its manifesto, claiming the issue needed wider discussion between stakeholders.

 The then deputy prime minister L K Advani tabled the Statehood of Delhi Bill, 2003 in the Lok Sabha but the matter did not proceed further.

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