Open to statehood but Delhi’s case is different: Congress
The Congress on Thursday said they are not closed to the idea of full statehood for Delhi, but there is no “one-size-fits-all policy”, during a press conference on the release of its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls at its Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee office.
“Delhi’s case is different. We have taken a cautious approach and have also consulted all stakeholders. Also, the Supreme Court has given its verdict on the demand for statehood in Delhi,” said senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, when questioned about the party’s statehood policy — while it promised statehood for Puducherry, it was silent on Delhi.
Delhi Congress president Sheila Dikshit said, “This can only be done after an amendment to the constitution. We had also asked for it, but the Centre did not accept the demand.”
Singhvi, however, said that major environmental issues such as pollution, healthcare and urban development apply as much to Delhi.
“Delhi will be the focus for implementation of all schemes around these issues,” he said.
Seven Lok Sabha seats are at stake in Delhi, which goes to polls on May 12.
In the backdrop of several meetings between the All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge PC Chacko, senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, including one on Wednesday, Dikshit said, “This meeting is not on the alliance. Moreover, there are no talks as such, except for those going on in the media.”
Chacko said that a decision on an alliance will be announced after the party president Rahul Gandhi takes a final call on it. “A major section of our own party was against this alliance, but we have tried to convince them. Slowly, more and more people are coming around to the idea. We are still positive,” he said.
AAP’s Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai said the party has not received any official communication from the Congress, yet, on an alliance. “If Sanjay Singh met anybody, it was in his personal capacity. No information about a meeting has been communicated to the top leadership,” he said.
Singh was not available for a comment.