Stepping up efforts to seek full statehood for Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wants to hold a referendum over the issue, ostensibly to seek the opinion of the citizens of Delhi on the issue. The government has asked the Urban department to prepare a draft on the provisions in law for a referendum and “create machinery” for such a practice.
After Kejriwal recently held a discussion on the issue with his cabinet colleagues, a note from the Chief Minister’s Office stated, “Do a referendum in Delhi. Draft a law and create machinery for referendum.”
The law ministry has also been asked to go over the legal issues regarding the matter.
Demanding statehood for Delhi, Law Minister Kapil Mishra said on Monday, “Legal complications will not ensue. Only BJP and Congress will backtrack from the promise which they made. It is a political issue.”
“People in other states have rights on their land and police. The citizen of Delhi should also have these rights. We should get what others are getting, why should Delhi suffer,” he asked.
“There is no harm in taking the public’s opinion,” the law minister added.
Sources in the UD believe that the referendum can become a reality within 10 days. There is no provision in law under which the Election Commission of India can hold a referendum and hence, a state can hold a referendum only through the state Election Commission, experts said.