With meetings across the capital to raise the demand for full statehood for Delhi and renewed attacks against L-G Anil Baijal, the AAP has set the tone for their 2019 Lok Sabha campaign. On Sunday, after a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal with ward-level AAP office bearers and MLAs, Delhi convener Gopal Rai announced that AAP would hold 300 meetings from June 17-24 on statehood. A resolution tabled in the Assembly would be passed and forwarded to the Centre, Rai said.
“When people in other states vote and pay taxes, they are ruled by their elected governments. But in Delhi, despite voting and paying taxes, the government elected by the people has no power. This is an insult to the Constitution of India,” Rai said.
He argued that the reason for Delhi not ‘accorded’ the status of a state was because it was the national capital. He said the party was ready for the NDMC area to remain within the Centre’s control, “but there are no embassies in Burari and Narela — why should people from these areas suffer even when there is no central government office there?”
Rai added that even after 70 years of independence, people of Delhi were still not free: “No other state government has got a majority (like AAP in Delhi). Still, people have to go to the L-G for the smallest of tasks.”
Kejriwal Saturday had alleged that mohalla clinics and the DJB were being targeted by the Centre and the BJP. He compared the L-G to the British-era Viceroy and the Centre with British rulers. “In 1947, the country got freedom. Throughout the country, it was decided that people’s rule will replace the Viceroy’s. But in Delhi, the L-G was appointed in place of the Viceroy. The people were cheated,” he said.
BJP plans mega rallies in October, November
Amid rumours and denials of a potential AAP-Congress alliance in the capital, the BJP Delhi unit is planning to hold four mega rallies — including for the Purvanchalis — in a bid to show its strength ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls. A senior Delhi BJP leader said the rallies, likely to be held in October and November, will focus on Dalits, women, youth and people from Purvanchal or parts of eastern UP and Bihar. “Purvanchalis rallied behind the BJP in the MCD elections last year. If we succeed in getting their support, the BJP will brave any challenge, including the possibility of an alliance between the AAP and Congress,” he said.