NEW DELHI: Delhi’s Deputy chief minister and Education Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday said that Delhi is a victim of “step-motherly treatment” by the Centre during a panel discussion on “Cooperative and Competitive Federalism” at the annual India Conference organized by the prestigious Harvard University. Sisodia also addressed Harvard University and claimed that how Delhi government has transformed Delhi’s Education and health system. The India Conference is one of the largest student-run conferences focusing on India in the USA. It is hosted at the Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School by the graduate students of Harvard University.
Sisodia said that the federal government is confused if it should treat Delhi as a union territory or as a state. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has in the past accused the Centre of “disrupting an elected government” and creating hurdles in its functioning. It has also been demanding that the share in central taxes and duties for the city should be increased. “Delhi is a victim of step-motherly treatment by the centre,” Sisodia said.
"Policymaking is not rocket science, it requires honest intent to find creative solutions. That is what Chief Minister, Shri Arvind Kejriwal's government has done in 3 years in Delhi. This change is not just needed in Delhi but throughout the country. Everyone had come to believe that such change is not possible; that government schools and healthcare will always be poor. But Delhi has shown that change is possible. We hope other states will follow!” Sisodia said during his 40 minutes speech.
However, senior Haryana Cabinet Minister Captain Abhimanyu asserted that federalism has strengthened under the Narendra Modi government. Implementation of GST Council is the best example of co-operative federalism in a highly complicated environment. “This is a great era of cooperative and competitive federalism,” Abhimanyu said. Addressing the problem of air pollution, he said Delhi is another example of cooperative federalism and the states in and around the national capital need to cooperate on this issue. Abhimanyu said the state governments have a thorough evaluation of investment proposals.
(With inputs from PTI)