The promise of full statehood to Puducherry, but silence on the same issue for Delhi, in the Congress manifesto prompted the AAP to lash out at the party, with Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia saying it was a “dhokha (betrayal)” of people in the city.
The Congress manifesto did promise to empower the Delhi government, stating: “The Congress promises to amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991, to make it clear that the Lieutenant Governor shall act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, except in matters concerning the three reserved subjects.”
Follow more election news here.
AAP, which made full statehood its primary poll agenda and has approached the Supreme Court for it, immediately spoke out. “Congress ka manifesto Dilli ke logon ke saath bahut bada dhokha hai,” Sisodia tweeted minutes after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi released the manifesto.
“The Congress has been promising full statehood to Delhi for the past 20 years. Why have they turned on this promise this year? How can we trust that the party will fulfill its other promises?” he added.
AAP’s attack comes against the backdrop of several attempts by the two parties to stitch together a pre-poll alliance in the city.
Last week, AAP leaders had said they would support the party which promises full statehood to Delhi. The three subjects which the Delhi government has no control over are land, police and law and order. After AAP was elected to power in Delhi in 2015, the power to transfer and appoint officials as well as control of the Anti-Corruption Branch was taken away from it.
The Congress’s stand on the issue will effectively take the administrative position of Delhi back to what it was before 2015, where control of services and ACB was largely with the elected government. “… We are already in court over the matter of services. The party is promising full statehood to Puducherry but not Delhi, whereas it promised statehood to Delhi in 2015,” Sisodia told The Indian Express.
BJP has already said statehood will not be on its agenda this time. In the past, however, its Chief Ministers as well as union ministers have taken the lead in demanding that the city be granted the status of a full state for better administration.
Earlier this year, Puducherry CM V Narayanasamy had sat on a protest against the L-G. Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had gone to Puducherry offering support.