NEW DELHI: Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken today claimed that the AAP government was raising the demand for full statehood to hide its "failures" to perform and said the people should take a decision on the issue.
He also demanded that the Arvind Kejriwal government to come out with a 'White Paper' to tell the Delhi people the benefits and drawbacks of full statehood.
The AAP government has called a three-day special session of the Legislative Assembly to discuss its demand for full statehood. The Centre spends Rs 6,953 crore on Delhi every year.
The super-speciality hospitals funded by the Centre receive Rs 3,000 crore annually. There are three central universities and Metro Rail and these are because Delhi is the national capital, Maken said.
Asserting that Delhi's status should not be altered, he said, "It is fine if any other benefits come besides it.
AAP leaders are raising full statehood issue to cover up the failures of their government.
"Maken said his party ruled Delhi for 15 years within the limits of the existing Constitutional provisions while the AAP is complaining that it has not been able to work due to lack of full statehood."
Kejriwal should come out with a White Paper giving details on how Delhi will be benefited by full statehood," the Congress leader said.
On the demand for statehood, he said, "It is a complex issue that needs to be deliberated as the national capital status comes with certain privileges that will have to be given up. Full statehood and status of national capital can not co-exist."
Maken also cornered the AAP over the Lokpal issue saying the party walked out of the government in 2014, accusing that it was not being allowed to table Lokpall Bill due to Congress pressure.
"Finally when they brought the Bill, they came up with the weakest form of the Lokpal," he alleged.