Congress vows statehood to Puducherry but excludes Delhi: AAP
Delhi AAP convener Gopal Rai on Tuesday attacked the Congress for promising “full statehood” to Puducherry, but excluding Delhi.
In response, the Congress said that Delhi’s case is “different” as it is also the national capital.
“In its election manifesto released on January 23 , 2015 (ahead of the last assembly elections in Delhi) the Congress had promised full statehood (to Delhi)... I ask them, what has changed now? Why do you think voters in Delhi do not deserve full statehood?” said Rai.
Full statehood for Delhi is the AAP’s chief poll plank.
In Puducherry, a Union Territory (UT) where the Congress is in power, chief minister V Narayanasamy and his ministerial colleagues have been at loggerheads with their lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi. They had also protested her “negative stand” towards their government’s proposals awaiting her approval.
The Congress manifesto, released on Tuesday, had the promise of full statehood to Puducherry as the 11th point under the head ‘Federalism and Centre-State Relations’. In the very next point, the party vowed to “amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 to make it clear that the Lieutenant Governor shall act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers except in matters concerning the three reserved subjects”. The three subjects are police, public order and land, the manifesto states.
Rai equated the Congress with the BJP, blaming them both for allegedly keeping Delhi voters bereft of more development by taking advantage of Delhi’s special constitutional status.
“Delhi has a special status because of it being the capital,” said Congress spokesperson Jitender Kochar. “We have also managed to run a government in Delhi for the last 15 years without any problems despite the limitation. If we can do it, why can’t the AAP?” said Kochar.