Backing his long-standing demand of full-statehood for Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Saturday said a draft bill is likely to be made public next week.
“Draft Bill for Statehood of Delhi ready. Will be soon placed in public domain for comments n suggestions from public (sic),” Kejriwal tweeted.
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Sources said after the comments and suggestions are collated, the government will bring in a resolution in the Delhi Assembly, proposing that the Centre introduce the bill on full-statehood. “… It must not be confused that we propose to introduce a bill because the state does not have the power to introduce such a bill. The Centre has to move the Bill in Parliament,” said a government official.
He added, “We do not want any confrontation on this with the BJP or the Congress or any other stakeholder since they have already said they are in favour of full statehood for Delhi. We will urge them to put forward their ideas, and their suggestions will be accommodated in the draft bill.”
“All vital institutions, important buildings and areas such as the Lutyens Zone will be left out and their security will continue to be with central agencies,” said the official.
When asked about statehood and pending bills of Delhi with the Centre, Transport Minister Gopal Rai said, “We have been given a mandate to work for the people. If we are granted statehood, the pace of work will improve. Moreover, the BJP and the Congress have made promises to voters in the past about bringing full statehood to Delhi.”
Last year, AAP had planned to hold a referendum on the issue which was shelved after constitutional experts said anything of that sort would be “unconstitutional”. AAP had promised full statehood to Delhi in its manifesto.
BJP MLA and leader of opposition Vijender Gupta said the AAP government was trying to pick a new fight with the Centre. “If the Delhi government was serious about full statehood to Delhi, it should have sent a proposal to the Centre and discussed the matter with them. This is being done to mislead people,” said Gupta.
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Maken said the power to make amendments in the Constitution is vested only with Parliament, and the government cannot pass any Bill for full statehood.