NEW DELHI: A day after conquering Delhi, Chief Minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday mounted pressure on the ruling BJP in the Centre by demanding full statehood for the national capital. Under pressure to satisfy the slew of promises he had made in the manifesto, Kejriwal and party leader Manish Sisodia met two senior Union ministers with a list of demands which could ease the burden the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is facing even before entering the Delhi Secretariat.
In the first meeting with Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Kejriwal sought the Centre’s help for compensation for the poor, unauthorised colonies and lands for building new schools and hospitals. “We discussed four big issues with the minister. Firstly, the issues of the poor such as compensation for them. We will need the Centre’s help on it. Secondly, the issue of unauthorised colonies on which the Centre recently passed a resolution. In order to take it forward, help will be required from the MCD, DDA and the Centre,” Sisodia said adding, “We (AAP) told him (Naidu) that for more schools, colleges, hospitals and parking, a lot of land will be required. So whatever land is available with the DDA, we have requested for it.”
Naidu, who congratulated Kejriwal on the historic victory, assured him full cooperation saying in his unique style that cooperation depended on the AAP government’s operation. “I have assured him that the Centre will cooperate with the State for development of Delhi, and we’ll be working as ‘Team India’.”
“Also emphasised to Arvind Kejriwal that our cooperation will depend upon his operation (performance),” Naidu later tweeted.
Later at 3.30 pm, Kejriwal and Sisodia drove to Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence on Ashoka Road. The meeting was also attended by Additional Secretary UT division that directly coordinates with the Delhi government.
After the meeting, Sisodia said the demand for full statehood was raised with the Home Minister as it will help resolve other issues that Delhi faces. Sisodia said if full statehood is granted, the Delhi Police will come under the State instead of the Home Ministry. “The Home Ministry and the Delhi government should act in tandem,” Sisodia said.
Later Rajnath tweeted: “Had a meeting with Delhi’s CM designate Arvind Kejriwal today. Assured him of all possible help from the Centre.”
Kejriwal also met President Pranab Mukherjee and thanked him for his “guidance”.
AAP gets I-T notice, Cong also under scanner
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which was hit by a controversy over a donation of `2 crore it had got by cheques from alleged shell companies, has got notice from the Income Tax department which has also sent missives to Congress and 48 other entities.