AAP will campaign for BJP in 2019 if Delhi is granted statehood, says Kejriwal

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal shocked both the media and rumours regarding his alliance with Congress at the Delhi Assembly by stating that the Aam Aadmi Party would campaign for BJP in 2019 if Delhi was granted statehood.

“I want to tell BJP that if before 2019 Elections, Delhi is granted statehood, we’ll make sure that each and every vote from Delhi goes in your favour, we’ll campaign for you. If you don’t do so, Delhi residents will put up boards saying ‘BJP leave Delhi’,” Mr Kejriwal said.

Earlier he addressed the party’s ward-level officer-bearers and legislators at his residence in New Delhi with the slogan “L-G, Delhi Chhoddo” or “Lieutenant Governor, Quit Delhi” on Monday, thus announcing a city wide campaign demanding full statehood in Delhi. He held a sit-in protest at LG’s Raj Niwas, tweeting the day later after the sleepover that ‘the struggle continues’. He has identified the statehood protest with freedom struggle and said that as Mahatma Gandhi had launched the Quit India Movement, Delhi had launched the ‘L-G, Delhi Chhodo campaign.

Sparks have been flying against the LG and Kejriwal on account of the former representing the Centre and its views. According to the disagreement, disputes occur when there are clashes between the exercise of power of both positions. The Wire, in a 2016 article writes, “All arguments for full statehood are centred on the fact that GNCTD has no jurisdiction over the police, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the MCD. The AAP government claims that its lack of control over these three hinders its ability to efficiently plan Delhi’s development and inhibits its influence on decisions regarding the security of its electorate. Also, the multiplicity of agencies makes it complex for citizens to hold the government accountable.”

Currently Delhi has only been granted partial statehood status, with important subjects like land, law and order, and police under the centre’s jurisdiction. A 2016 court ruling has ruled Delhi as a union territory with the L-G as the administrative head. However, the AAP dominated house has passed a resolution granting full statehood to Delhi.

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