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Kejri damaged statehood cause; no need of it to providing basic amenities: BJP

twitter-logoPTI | April 25, 2019 | Updated 22:43 IST

New Delhi, Apr 25 (PTI) There is no need for full statehood status for Delhi in order to provide basic amenities like power and water supply, the BJP said Thursday, hitting out at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for "damaging" the cause by "obstructing" the Republic Day parade in 2014. The party was referring to dharna the chief minister had staged outside the Rail Bhavan in January 2014 and sit-on at the Lieutenant Governor's office here. Shyam Jaju, BJP's national vice president and party in-charge of Delhi, said that unless there is a constitutional amendment, this goal cannot be achieved. The AAP on Thursday came out with its manifesto for the Lok Sabha election based on the central theme of full statehood, promising 85 per cent reservation in colleges and jobs for the people of the national capital. "There is no need for full statehood to Delhi for providing basic amenities like sufficient power, water supply, prevention of pollution, maintenance of sewers, roads, providing health services, employment, security to women and reliable transport system," he said. The BJP, in its 2014 manifesto, had promised to make Delhi a full state if it came to power. The AAP has been accusing the BJP of "betrayal" and of going back on its promise. "Kejriwal has himself damaged the cause of full statehood by trying to obstruct the Republic Day parade and insulting the constitutional institutions again and again," Jaju claimed. Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta said the AAP reiterating its promise to push for full statehood for Delhi in its manifesto goes against the spirit of the Supreme Court judgment on full statehood for the national capital. "The court last year dismissed the AAP's appeal of seeking full statehood for Delhi, saying that it has become infructuous in view of the Constitution bench verdict which held that Delhi cannot be accorded the status of state. "Notwithstanding the verdict, the AAP has mischievously chosen to make the full statehood its poll plank in the election. In its manifesto, on the one hand, it has given false picture of what it has achieved during the last 50 months and, on the other hand, misled what it can achieve if Delhi is made full state," Gupta claimed. Last year, the Supreme Court ruled that the city's lieutenant governor did not have independent decision-making powers and the real authority lay with the elected government. A two-judge bench of the apex court, in its verdict on the AAP versus the Centre case, was divided on services -- the power to appoint, post and transfer of officials in Delhi administration -- but agreed on the Centre having control over the Anti-Corruption Branch in Delhi. The services issue has been sent to a larger bench. In the past, Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said that the AAP's demand for full statehood to Delhi should be looked into but Kejriwal's "attitude" to confront the Centre and the LG has held the process hostage. PTI PR AAR

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