New Delhi: To stress their demand for full statehood for the national capital, AAP legislators, led by party leader Gopal Rai, have submitted over 10 lakh letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The party had begun a signature campaign in July seeking public support on the issue. The MLAs, along with other party leaders, assembled at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Monday before proceeding to submit the letters. “The people of Delhi receive step-motherly treatment from the Centre in their own home state. We had started a campaign for full statehood on July 1 and as a part of it, we started a signature campaign addressed to the Prime Minister. We have received over 10 lakh signatures,” AAP convenor Gopal Rai was quoted by the IANS as saying. (Also read: AAP Blasts Centre For U-turn on Delhi Statehood)
In June, a special three-day session of the Delhi Legislative Assembly was held to discuss the demand. The AAP-majority assembly had passed a resolution in this regard. AAP has accused the Centre of “misleading” Parliament on its demand for full statehood and said its MP will move a privilege motion against it. AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj cited a written reply by Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir in the Lok Sabha wherein the Union minister stated that there was no demand of full statehood for Delhi. (Also read: CM Tweets Plan to Seek Delhi Statehood)
“The Central Minister misled the Lok Sabha because they (Centre) did not want to tell the stand of the Central Government on statehood of Delhi,” Bhardwaj tweeted along with a copy of Ahir’s reply. Bhardwaj also shared a copy of the June resolution. The resolution, moved by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, asked the Union Home Ministry to take all necessary legal and legislative steps to declare the national capital a “full fledged state” without “any further delay”. The resolution was passed on June 11 and sent to the Home Ministry the same day, Bhardwaj said. The demand for full statehood has led to a bitter power tussle between the state government and the Centre.