Delhi House passes resolution for statehood, Kejriwal to sit on indefinite fast

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New Delhi, Feb 23 (IANS) The Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday passed a resolution in the Delhi Assembly demanding the Centre declare Delhi a full-fledged state with party Chief Arvind Kejriwal saying he will go on an indefinite hunger strike from March 1 to press the demand.

The House adopted the resolution moved by AAP MLA Nitin Tyagi saying the people of Delhi can no longer be kept “at the mercy of a Central Government- appointed Lieutenant Governor, who has no accountability to the public and who enjoys absolute power without any responsibility”.

“In keeping with the decades-old demand of the residents of the National Capital Territory of Delhi for a better quality of life commensurate with their contribution to the country’s economy, the Ministry of Home Affairs must take all necessary legal and legislative steps to declare NCT of Delhi a full-fledged state without any further delay,” the resolution said.

During the discussion on the resolution, several AAP MLAs and Ministers, including Kejriwal, raised issues where the government lacks power.

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Speaking in the House, Kejriwal said Congress and the BJP had promised full statehood to Delhi many times but now when the AAP is raising it, “they both are against it.”

“It is shameful that Delhi is known as the capital of rape and crime in the world. The police are not under us and we are not able to do anything for the security of our people.”

He said that a common man approaches an MLA in a situation of crisis “but the police are not ready to listen to the MLAs.”

“For the past four years, I have tried meeting the PM several times. I want to tell him (PM), give the police and MCD to the people, you should handle Pakistan.”

He said not only the PM but the Central Ministers also don’t listen to the common man and their problems.

Kejriwal said it is high time a mass movement was built for granting full statehood to Delhi.

“By giving us 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi, the city has done so much for us — it made us ministers and MLAs. In return for this, even if we lose our lives, it will be less,” he said.

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“From March 1, the movement for full statehood will be started. It will not end until the city is declared a full state,” the AAP chief said.

“I will be on indefinite hunger strike from March 1. It will be my proud privilege to lay down my life fighting for the rights of the people of Delhi. Delhi deserves full statehood and must get it at all costs,” he added.

Later, speaking to the media outside the House, the AAP chief said: “Democracy was adopted for the entire nation 70 years ago, but not in Delhi. People here vote and elect their government, but the government has no power. Unlike other states, the Delhi government cannot work freely, it cannot give protection to women or can give jobs to its youth.”

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“If Delhi becomes a full state, women will get protection, every family will get a house, the city will be clean, the youth will get jobs, contractual employees will be confirmed, people will get justice and the government can work for their development. More schools, hospitals and universities will be opened here.”

On being asked if it is being done as the Lok Sabha elections are approaching, he said: “People should cast their votes for positive politics and not on a religious basis. So, if people are voting for statehood, it will be better than voting for religion.”

MLAs, including Cabinet Minister Gopal Rai, said that the Centre can continue its control over the NDMC area, and should declare the rest of Delhi a full state.

“This House resolves that the NDMC area in Delhi, which is governed by the NDMC Act, be kept under the exclusive control of the Central government, and the rest of NCT of Delhi be declared a full-fledged state,” the resolution said.

–IANS

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