The Delhi BJP is lobbying hard for securing full statehood for the national capital — which it promised in its manifesto during the last Assembly elections — ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally at Ramlila Maidan on January 10.
The Prime Minister is expected to announce a slew of sops for the capital, but may stop short of granting Delhi BJP’s full statehood wish, sources said.
Sources said senior leaders in the party’s Delhi unit have communicated their wish to the Prime Minister as they feel that an announcement to this effect may boost the party’s chances in the Assembly elections, likely to be announced any time now.
But it is understood that there is reluctance on the part of the Central leadership regarding granting statehood to the capital as it would entail transferring policing powers as well as land to the state government.
If policing powers are transferred to the state government, the BJP leadership feels an opponent party government in the city could try to embarrass the Centre, sources said.
Often, the three main political parties, the Congress, the BJP and the AAP, have blamed the lack of statehood for the national capital for a number of problems that bedevil the government’s functioning.
With the BJP in power at the Centre, the party’s state unit sees it as a golden opportunity to secure more powers for the Delhi government ahead of the elections. “We hope the PM makes some announcement, at least partially transferring policing powers and land to the Delhi government,” a senior party leader said.
The party is already claiming to have secured legal status for all unauthorised colonies and extension of moratorium on all action against illegal construction in the city.