Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday claimed that the Goods and Service Tax (GST) bill which was today ratified by the Delhi Assembly, has placed “Delhi” (Union Territory with a state legislature) on equal footing to that of a state.
Referring to the communication received by the chief minister from the Union Finance Minister on GST bill, the Deputy Chief Minister said the amended Article 366 treats “Union Territory with a legislature on equal footing as State”.
“GST bill for the first time recognises Delhi as a state under the new Constitutional amendment to Art 366 – step in right direction finally,” Sisodia tweeted. In the assembly, Sisodia also took the opportunity to hit out at the Centre for being “confused” over the constitutional status of Delhi.
“As per memorandums of Niti Aayog over contributions of states centrally sponsored schemes, the Centre seems to be confused about the status of Delhi. But the GST Bill has given clarity to Constitutional position of Delhi. Technically, it includes Delhi in states category,” he said. The bill was on Wednesday endorsed by the House by a voice vote following a brief discussion during which Sisodia called GST a “big reform” which will be good for the country’s economy and growth.
The Aam Aadmi Party has been raising demands of full statehood status for Delhi since it has come to power in Delhi
in February. On August 13, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had invoked Delhiites’ pride to reiterate the AAP’s demand for full statehood to Delhi, saying he will take the fight to any extent to make it happen for the interest of the national capital.
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Without taking names of any political party and making direct reference to anyone, Kejriwal had said the AAP would continue to fight for full statehood by going to any extent as “goons in the high echelons” of the government hinder the work of Delhi.