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After alliance with Congress fails to take off, AAP makes statehood demand for Delhi the key aspect of its manifesto

Aam Admi Party leader Sanjay Singh claimed that the demand for full statehood for Delhi is the crowning jewel of the party manifesto published on Thursday. While speaking to Firstpost the AAP Rajya Sabha MP said that if Delhi becomes a full state than the state government would be able to meet all the demands of Delhiites across departments.

 After alliance with Congress fails to take off, AAP makes statehood demand for Delhi the key aspect of its manifesto

File image of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. PTI

“Demand for full statehood for Delhi is the most attractive part of the manifesto released today. In the last four years, people have seen that we have not been allowed to run the government. Obstacles have been created in every scheme we took. We would get Rs 5, 000 to 6,000 crore as taxes whereas we get only Rs 325 crore now. Full statehood would mean handing out more jobs, curbing of corruption with power over police corruption stop, more colleges and hence more higher education to the Delhi youngsters,” said Sanjay Singh to Firstpost.

The AAP released the manifesto for Delhi Lok Sabha polls to be held on 12 May. AAP's demand for full statehood for Delhi is seen as an effort to make the party’s campaign coherent as it was widely felt that the party’s campaign missed a common narrative for all the seven constituencies in the city.

The AAP manifesto mentions a number of promises the party will fulfil provided Delhi becomes a full-fledged state. The manifesto doles out promises of 2 lakh government jobs, home to everyone in Delhi, 85 percent reservation of seats in colleges for the residents in Delhi. It focusses in 12 areas of education, health, women safety, police reforms, zero corruption, jobs, land and housing, protection from sealing, cleanliness, pollution, transport and Yamuna rejuvenation.

The AAP released the manifesto after the talks with the Congress finally failed and the party decided to go on its own in Delhi.

While releasing the manifesto, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that statehood for Delhi is the party’s electoral plank.

“AAP would do anything to prevent the return of Modi-Shah duo to power. AAP would support any government other than one formed by Modi. But in return of that support, we would expect the new government to fulfil the 70-year-old demand for Delhi statehood,” the AAP convener said.

However, AAP’s poll campaign had gone haywire recently given over the uncertainty around its electoral tie-up with the Congress party.

Though the party had declared statehood as its poll agenda soon after the date of the election was announced, it did not reflect quite clearly in the speeches made by party leaders in public rallies. The main reason for playing this agenda down was attributed to the reluctance of the Congress party, then a possible ally to take up full statehood as an electoral plank.

“Why has the issue been raised now when there is no Parliament session scheduled and the present government at the Centre is also about to end its term?” the grand old party’s Sheila Dikshit had said running down the demand for full statehood.

She added that even Congress had earlier wanted full statehood for Delhi but eventually, the demand was dropped.

Prior to Dikshit another leader in the Delhi Congress Ajay Maken too expressed a similar view on the issue, claiming full statehood would bring about extra financial burdens for Delhiites.

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Updated Date: Apr 26, 2019 12:12:08 IST