Full statehood and liquor ban: Nitish Kumar’s demand for Delhihttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/nitish-kumar-demands-full-statehood-for-delhi-6084060/

Full statehood and liquor ban: Nitish Kumar’s demand for Delhi

"Just like we want special status for Bihar, we have always wanted statehood for Delhi," Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said while addressing his party workers in New Delhi.

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File photo of Nitish Kumar with Arvind Kejriwal at the Delhi Secretariat. Nitish Kumar’s comment comes just ahead of the Delhi elections.

As Janata Dal (United) is gearing up for the assembly elections in Delhi to be held next year, party president Nitish Kumar on Wednesday pitched for full statehood for the national capital, a demand that had been rejected by its ally BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

“Just like we want special status for Bihar, we have always wanted statehood for Delhi,” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said while addressing his party workers in New Delhi. Kumar also reiterated his demand for a special status for Bihar, even though the BJP has already rejected it.

Kumar also demanded that prohibition on liquor be implemented in Delhi as his government had done so in Bihar.

“Prohibition is a very important thing and it should be implemented in the entire country. Why should it not be implemented in Delhi? Alcohol is such a bad thing that we banned it (sale and consumption) in 2016. We implemented prohibition on the request of women. There has been a decline in domestic fight and law and order has also improved,” he said.

The JD(U) is eyeing migrant voters from Poorvanchal and Bihar to make an impact in the city where the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, BJP and the Congress are key contenders.

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AAP national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal in the past had raised the issue of granting full statehood to Delhi and made it one of the planks in the lead up to the Lok Sabha elections. Delhi, not being a full state, does not have control of law and order, police, land and services.

Making its case for statehood in its manifesto, AAP had explained how law and order would be improved if the police was under its control.

On the other hand, BJP has maintained that there was no need for full statehood to Delhi for providing basic amenities like sufficient power, water supply, health services, employment, security to women, a reliable transport system, preventing pollution and maintenance of sewers and roads.

In June last year, a five-judge Constitution Bench ruled that decisions of the Delhi government will not require the concurrence of the Lieutenant-Governor, except in matters relating to Land, Home and Public Order.