Clarify stand on Delhi statehood, AAP tells BJP

New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) Slamming Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari for his comment opposing full statehood to Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party on Monday asked the BJP central leadership to clear its stand on the issue.

On December 3, Tiwari said Delhi should not be given full statehood, and that conceding the demand could lead to problems for the country’s federal structure.

The view of the actor-turned-politician, who recently took over as the Delhi BJP chief, amounted to a U-turn on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s long-standing demand for full statehood for Delhi.

AAP Delhi convenor Dilip Pandey said: “The BJP high command should clarify if it condones the statement (of Tiwari)… Do they agree to this biggest political U-turn?”

Pandey told the media here that a number of BJP stalwarts had in the past advocated full statehood for Delhi, and said the BJP had been demanding it since the beginning of Delhi politics.

“From Atal Bihari Vajpayee to Kalka Das, Sahib Singh Verma, Madan Lal Khurana, L.K. Advani… all of them demanded full statehood for Delhi… were they all lying?” Pandey asked.

The AAP leader said that instead of abandoning the matter altogether, the BJP should participate in a debate on the issue.

“There is already a Delhi statehood draft bill in the public domain. If the BJP has any differences over the issue, we are ready for a debate. But don’t make the people of Delhi suffer,” Pandey said.

He said it is important for Delhi to get the status of a full state because of its complex administrative structure.

“If Delhi gets full statehood, only then can there be ease of governance. Today, multiplicity of agencies leads to stalling of issues of public importance,” he said.

–IANS

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