AAP wants full statehood to be core issue in LS polls

Last Updated 14 February 2019, 09:34 IST

Unimpressed by the Supreme Court order on Delhi government's powers, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is set to launch a high-decibel campaign on full statehood for the capital and pit it as the poll plank in the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

Give us all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi and we will fight to get full statehood in the next Lok Sabha is how party chief and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal set the record straight on what the party intended to do in the next days.

The party will go to the people with a message that a government has 67 out of 70 MLAs cannot even transfer a peon and it had to even go a hunger strike at Lieutenant Governor's residence for days for clearing files.

"I appeal to people, not to see this election as one to select a Prime Minister. Give us all the seven seats in the Lok Sabha election, so that we can have a larger say. The party with 67 seats does not have the power to transfer officers, but the party (BJP) with 3 seats has," Kejriwal said on Thursday. At present, BJP has all seven MPs.

"People of Delhi have to strengthen us. We will fight for full statehood and betterment of Delhi," he told a press conference which came soon after the Supreme Court order.

The Supreme Court on Thursday gave a split verdict on the contentious issue of control of services between Delhi government and Centre while it agreed on upheld the Centre's notification that its employees cannot be probed in corruption cases by ACB of Delhi government. While there are concessions for the Delhi government on certain issues, the AAP is not happy that its four-year fight has not yet concluded.

"What kind of a democracy is this?... What kind of judgement is this? Judgement is not only against people of Delhi but is also against the Constitution. If an elected government does not have power to transfer officers, then how will it function?”

Asked about Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit's criticism against his government, he said people should see that there are issues are big, the country, Constitution and democracy are big. "Let short-term political targets should not guide us," he said.

With AAP all set to intensify its campaign that its hands are tied down, the BJP welcomed the Supreme Court judgement saying removed ambiguities in the powers of the Delhi government.

"We welcome the Supreme Court decision removing ambiguities in the powers of the Delhi Govt. After this verdict, there shouldn't be any scope for confusion or conflict. The Delhi govt should humbly accept it & govern the capital as it was being done before they had come to power," Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta said.

(Published 14 February 2019, 09:19 IST)

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