Delhi’s Chief Minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and raised the issue of full statehood to the national capital, emphasising that it will help in ensuring proper coordination among various agencies.
In the meeting, Kejriwal, accompanied by senior party leader Manish Sisodia, underlined the need for “constructive cooperation” between the Centre and the Delhi government and noted that political differences should not come in way of taking the city forward.
The AAP leader strongly pitched for granting full statehood to Delhi, saying it was an assurance given by even BJP in its assembly election manifesto in 2013.
“We discussed the topic of statehood as many issues will find its way if Delhi is granted full statehood. Both AAP and BJP had promised it in their election manifestos.
“As there is a BJP government at the Centre with full majority and an AAP government is being formed in Delhi, there should not be any problem in fulfilling the promise. This will be the best thing for Delhi,” Sisodia told reporters.
He said Kejriwal sought full cooperation from Singh in addressing various issues requiring intervention of the Centre.
“The Home Ministry and the Delhi government should act in tandem and there should be constructive cooperation between the two,” he said.
“Met Venkaiah Naidu ji and Rajnath ji -the two most important ministries for Delhi govt. Invited them to oath ceremony,” Kejriwal tweeted later.
Asked whether they raised the issue of bringing Delhi Police under the city government, Sisodia said granting of statehood will address this matter as well.
The BJP in its manifesto for 2013 assembly polls had promised full statehood for Delhi. The party had come out with a vision document for the February 7 assembly polls which did not find any mention of the statehood issue.
In its manifesto, AAP had promised to push for full statehood for Delhi if it came to power.
The NDA government in 2003 had brought a bill to grant full statehood to Delhi and it was tabled in Parliament. The bill was referred to a Parliamentary Committee. But no further attempt was made to grant Delhi full statehood.
The BJP-ruled Delhi government had passed a resolution in Delhi assembly seeking full statehood for Delhi in 1993. The Congress government headed by Sheila Dikshit had also placed resolution in the Delhi assembly twice for grant of full statehood which was passed.
The Home Minister assured Kejriwal all possible central help to the city government in the coming days.
“During the meeting, the Home Minister assured Kejriwal all possible help from the Centre,” a Home Ministry official said.