The Congress and BJP in Delhi took on the Delhi government over the proposed Delhi statehood bill.
Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta said the bill was mischievous and unacceptable because it bifurcated Delhi.
Gupta said the bill seeks to deprive two crore Delhiites of their pride of living in India’s Capital.
“Only Parliament is empowered to prepare, adopt and pass the Delhi statehood bill as enshrined in the Constitution of India. The Delhi legislative assembly cannot do that,” said Gupta.
Gupta claimed the Delhi government had no jurisdiction and power to adopt the Delhi Statehood Bill.
“Lal Krishan Advani, then deputy Prime Minister and home minister of India, had introduced the State of Delhi Bill in Parliament on August 13, 2003. It had the President of India’s recommendation under Articles 3, 117 and 274 of the Constitution of India. In a letter to the secretary-general of Lok Sabha, Advani ji had communicated that the President has been informed on the subject matter of the proposed bill to grant full statehood to Delhi. President recommended the introduction of the Bill under the aforesaid sections. It could not be passed then for different reasons. But it highlights the procedure that needs to be adopted. Kejriwal now for no rhyme or reason wants to introduce the bill in Delhi Legislative Assembly,” he added.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said the people would have to decide whether they wanted the city to remain the national Capital or attain full statehood.
Reacting to the decision of the Arvind Kejriwal government of proposing a draft bill for statehood before the residents to seek their suggestions, Maken said: “Will Delhi want to leave the privileges of the National Capital? This is the main question.”
Maken termed the decision of the Arvind Kejriwal government as an attempt to “divert attention of people from failures of AAP government”.
“Kejirwal has once again raked up the Statehood issue to divert people’s attention from the dismal performance of the Aam Aadmi Party in the MCD bypolls. The Delhi Congress will give its studied reaction on the draft Bill in its due course,” he said.