AAP government releases draft bill for full statehood of Delhi


Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party government on Wednesday released a draft bill on full statehood to Delhi, seeking to bring police, land, municipal corporations and bureaucracy under its control.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal

While releasing the bill, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal invited suggestions from the public till 30 June.

The decision, according to many will cause another round of friction between the Delhi government and the Centre.

The AAP government has had constant fight with the Centre’s Narendra Modi government since the party won a historic landslide in February last year.

Under the ‘The State of Delhi Bill 2016’ placed in public domain, New Delhi (NDMC) and Delhi Cantonment areas will be kept out of the juridication of the proposed Delhi state. The term Lt Governor will be replaced with ‘Governor’.

In the Bill, as reported by PTI, the city government has advocated creation of a seperate official cadre for the state. Besides, High Court for the existing National Capital Territory will be called the ‘High Court of Delhi, it states.

Kejriwal asked his rivals, BJP and Congress to “rise above differences” while quoting from old manifestos of BJP and Congress wherein both parties had promised full statehood.

“The BJP has struggled the most on the issue. They have consistently raised it. We are merely taking their resolve forward by inviting public opinion on this draft,” Kejriwal told a press conference here, when asked about the AAP’s action plan if the draft is rejected by the Centre.

Kejriwal said that he will write letters and also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP President Amit Shah and Congress President Sonia Gandhi to garner support for the draft bill, which keeps the high-profile NDMC area, out of its jurisdiction.

The bill also states that all consequential amendments to the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act 1957, the Delhi Development Act 1957, the Delhi Police Act 1978 and other statutes passed by Parliament in respect of matters enumerated in the State List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution will be carried out by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Delhi.

Kejriwal said that after 30 June, the final version of the draft would be prepared and a resolution would be passed by the Delhi Assembly to this effect.

He said, “We will forward the resolution to the Centre which in turn will have to bring Constitutional Amendment.

“The draft has been put on the Delhi government’s website. Through its passage, we seek to fulfill the dreams of Congress and BJP. We should rise above party lines. A special session of the Assembly may also be called for passing the resolution.”

Embassy areas and central government are in the NDMC zone of the city and in view of this, NDMC area may have separate police, he said.



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