Kejriwal has used his brahmastra again.
The Aam Admi Party has once again taken out protests in Delhi, this time albeit for a new reason. CM Arvind Kejriwal has been campaigning for a ‘statehood’ status for Delhi, an issue that has been in demand since 1950.
As previous political talk brought no positive outcome in this matter, Kejriwal decided to resort to the one thing that brought him to power in 2014 – PROTESTS! On 13th June, the Aam Aadmi Party along with thousands of supporters marched to the lieutenant governor’s house albeit without permission, thus inviting more criticism. Mamata Banerjee, Yashwant Sinha, and Manoj Jha initially supported Kejriwal, but have now turned towards BJP to resolve the matter.
Kejriwal has been camping in the lieutenant governor Anil Baijal’s office for the past 6 days. He has taken seat on Baijal’s couch, promising to sit there until IAS officers end their ‘alleged’ strike or the LG agrees to consider Delhi’s status
Here’s what you need to know about the issue and why Delhi needs to be a state.
It was originally meant to be a separate state
In 1950, when the newly independent India was scrambling to draw its constituencies, there was no doubt that Delhi was going to be a state. In 1952, an assembly was elected by the people, and the state got its first Chief Minister – Chaudhary Brahm Prakash. But the status was short lived. Within four years, through different Acts of the constitution, Delhi was termed a Union Territory, much to the dismay of its people.
Delhi hasn’t seen such large protests in 7 years
In 2011, Kejriwal’s India Against Corruption (IAC) protests took Delhi by storm. They were so massive and popular that they led to him being elected in the 2014 elections. This time again, Delhi’s streets have been flooded with two types of protestors. One side is holding banners urging Baijal to initiate talks regarding statehood. The other side is protesting against the demand for the status. of course, the former has far more supporters. Why? Because the aam aadmi is highly inconvenienced by the pseudo multi-party system in the local government. Here’s what this means.
Statehood is integral for smooth jurisdiction
Presently, the Delhi government does not have control over the entire Capital Region.
- The Municipal Corporation is headed by the Mayor
- The New Delhi Municipal Council is governed by a chairman appointed by the central government.
- The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is headed by the lieutenant governor.
- The Delhi Police is governed by the Union Home Ministry.
Not just this, there are five civic bodies to upkeep roadways and six different bodies handling water and power. And here’s where matters get complicated. A multi-control system not only creates unnecessary tension in functioning but is also grossly unfair on the elected government. Delhi can neither recruit its own cadre of officers nor can it run the region without interference from other bodies. Moreover, mistakes made by the central government could cost the local government its seats in the next elections.
It’s not just about AAP
Both Congress and BJP have supported the demand for full statehood. In fact, former CM Sheila Dikshit was a strong supporter of the issue during her time. BJP has been calling for statehood since the 1990s. During the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, all major parties promised to term Delhi a state during the rallies.
Delhi being such an important seat politically, in reality, strips away half the power of the elected government. The chaos and confusion in the region have only risen with warring ideologies of different parties. And this is why Delhi need to be declared a state ASAP.