Delhi could soon have a referendum to decide whether a full statehood status for the state should be proposed and whether a bill should be presented before the Centre for the same. A feasibility report has been sought by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from the urban development department for the same, a Delhi government official has confirmed.
“Do a referendum in Delhi. Draft a law and create machinery for referendum,” says a CM note accessed by Hindustan Times.
It is being reported that the CM has even asked the urban and legal departments to speed up work on the bill that will then be sent to the Centre.
The government is trying to get the election commission itself hold the referendum as that will carry more weight. In case that is not possible, the state government is ready to carry a referendum on its own. The issue was reportedly discussed by Kejriwal in a recent meeting with is ministers.
While the Delhi statehood issue was always a part of the AAP manifesto, the BJP had chosen not to include it in its referendum ahead of the February 2014 general elections despite vouching for it for years.
Although not in its orthodox form, ‘referendum’ has always been a centerpiece of AAP politics. Even when the party took the support of Congress to form government in Delhi in 2014, it said the decisions were taken only after the people’s go-ahead.
The critics of AAP’s referendum politics, however, say that the vote is not broad-based and that party members or politicians are usually the only participants.