New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday said that his party, the Janata Dal (United), supports full statehood to Delhi and reiterated his demand for a special status for Bihar, which the Narendra Modi government at the Centre has already turned down.

He had made similar remarks at an event in Patna in 2015 too.

On Wednesday, addressing his party workers in Delhi, Nitish, who is also the JD(U) chief, said, “Our party has always been in favour that Delhi should be given full statehood. We want statehood for Delhi similarly like we want special status for Bihar.”

Demands have been raised since long that Delhi, which is currently a Union Territory (UT), be given full statehood. What this means, in simple words, is that in a UT, the elected government cannot make policy decisions in several matters; these decisions are made by the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) who heads the UT and governs it on behalf of the central government.

In Delhi, for example, the Delhi Police reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and not the Delhi government.

The issue had especially come to light after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power in Delhi. The party has had several run-ins with Anil Baijal, the incumbent L-G and Najeeb Jung, his predecessor. In February, a two-judge Supreme Court bench ruled in favour of the Centre in four out of six appeals, in what was a setback to the ruling AAP.

However, continuing with its push for full statehood, in its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, promised full statehood to Delhi.

Assembly elections will be held in both Delhi and Bihar next year. While Delhi is likely to go to polls in February, Bihar is expected to vote in October-November.