What full statehood means for Delhiites?

The demand for full statehood for Delhi tops chief minister Arvind Kejriwal's agenda during this hectic poll season but is the demand for full statehood for Delhi, only a hot-button election season issue?

Ankita Virmani May 07, 2019 19:02:17 IST

The demand for full statehood for Delhi tops chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s agenda during this hectic poll season Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, or the AAP, is going hammer and tongs on its full statehood plea in its campaign for the
7 seats in the national capital that go to polls on May 12. Whether the AAP gets its way will only be known after the results for the 17th Lok Sabha elections are declared on May 23

Now, let’s understand what full statehood means for Delhiites?

Delhi is a muddled case of governance because it is governed by multiple authorities. For instance, the is the Delhi government, the 3 civic bodies, the Delhi Development Authority or DDA, Lt. Governor, and the Central government.
The multiplicity of agencies have led to confusion over power-sharing and decisively weakened the ‘elected government’, which is directly accountable to Delhiites.

Under a 1951 Government Act, Delhi was declared an ‘A’ category Union Territory under which an elected government was empowered to formulate laws on all matters except those pertaining to police, land & building, sanitation &
civic authorities. In 1958, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was set up to look after the national capital’s essential services and also coordinate with respective departments at the Centre. In 1991, on the recommendations of a committee,
it was christened ‘National Capital Territory of Delhi’, which would be administered by a Lieutenant-Governor appointed by Governor

Should Delhi be treated differently from other Union Territories because it is the national capital?

This is not the first time when the statehood demand has been raised. In 2003, veteran BJP leader L K Advani had introduced a bill in Parliament to grant statehood status to Delhi. Also, both the Congress and BJP had pledged their support for
full statehood to Delhi in their 2015 assembly poll manifestos, but have, conveniently, glossed over during this year’s parliamentary elections.

Is the demand for full statehood for Delhi only a hot-button election season issue?

Delhi’s demand for full statehood has been a raging debate for long…but, even if the wish is granted, it’d come with its own set of challenges.

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