Delhi “cannot be made a full state and must continue to be a Union Territory”, lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung said on Friday, a day after the high court ruled that the L-G was the “administrator” of the national capital and all decisions of the local government must be communicated to him.
In an interview to HT, Jung said that with the court making the constitutional arrangement — in terms of administrative jurisdiction — between his office and that of the Delhi chief minister clear, all decisions taken henceforth will be “legitimate and constitutional”.
Jung said some decisions of the Aam Aadmi Party government will be reviewed and it will be requested to “send all those files that required clearance from the L-G’s office but have not been taken as yet”.
On the long-pending demand for full statehood, the L-G said, “Two or three years ago, as a citizen of Delhi and not knowing the system, I may have said, as a layman, ‘make Delhi a state. What’s bad in that?’ But today, as an insider in the system and having studied it, I would say that Delhi must continue to be a UT. It just cannot be made a state.”
He said it was in national interest for the Centre to have “comprehensive control over the affairs of the Capital to ensure a high degree of security and administrative efficiency and effectiveness”.
Jung said the issue has been dealt with at length in Parliament and in Thursday’s Delhi high court verdict as well.
The AAP promised statehood for Delhi during its poll campaign and it has repeatedly clashed with the L-G and the central government for control over important departments like the police and land. It has suggested a referendum on the subject.
Before it, the BJP and Congress have also in the past pitched for full statehood for the Capital. While the Congress continues to include it in its election manifesto, the BJP dropped it for the 2015 assembly polls.