Kejriwal meets Home Minister Rajnath Singh, demands full Delhi statehood

NEW DELHI(WEB TEAM): Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at the latter’s residence on Wednesday and invited him for his swearing-in ceremony which is to take place on February 14 at Ramlila Grounds. Party leader Manish Sisodia was also present at the meeting.

“We requested him (Rajnath Singh) to attend the oath-taking ceremony on Saturday. We also requested him for his support that Delhi gets full state rights, and that both the state government and the Centre should work constructively together for Delhi,” said Sisodia.

“We discussed the topic of statehood as many issues will find its way if Delhi is granted full statehood. Both AAP and BJP had promised it in their election manifestos. As there is a BJP government at the Centre with full majority and an AAP government is being formed in Delhi, there should not be any problem in fulfilling the promise. This will be the best thing for Delhi,” Sisodia told reporters.

He said Kejriwal sought full cooperation from Rajnath Singh in addressing various issues requiring intervention of the Centre.

“The Home Ministry and the Delhi government should act in tandem and there should be constructive cooperation between the two,” he said.

After leaving Rajnath Singh’s residence, Arvind Kejriwal tweeted about the meeting.

Met Venkaiah Naidu ji n Rajnath ji -the 2 most imp ministries for del govt. Invited them to oath ceremony(1/3)

Asked whether they raised the issue of bringing Delhi Police under the city government, Sisodia said granting of statehood will address this matter as well. The BJP in its manifesto for 2013 assembly polls had promised full statehood for Delhi. The party had come out with a vision document for the February 7 assembly polls which did not find any mention of the statehood issue.

In its manifesto, AAP had promised to push for full statehood for Delhi if it came to power. The NDA government in 2003 had brought a bill to grant full statehood to Delhi and it was tabled in Parliament. The bill was referred to a Parliamentary Committee. But no further attempt was made to grant Delhi full statehood.

The BJP-ruled Delhi government had passed a resolution in Delhi assembly seeking full statehood for Delhi in 1993. The Congress government headed by Sheila Dikshit had also placed resolution in the Delhi assembly twice for grant of full statehood which was passed.

Kejriwal, who was unanimously elected as the leader of the legislative party on Tuesday, met Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu earlier in the day. He is also scheduled to meet President Pranab Mukherjee today.

Kejriwal’s party, AAP, made a clean sweep of the Delhi assembly polls yesterday, winning 67 of the 70 seats on offer and decimated rivals BJP and Congress. Kejriwal met Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on Tuesday after winning at the latter’s official residence and staked a claim to form the government in the national capital. Jung will now send the report regarding the matter to President Pranab Mukherjee, clearing the way for Kejriwal to go ahead with plans for government formation.