The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government today released a draft bill on full statehood to Delhi, seeking to bring police, land, municipal corporations and bureaucracy under its control, and invited suggestions from the public till June 30, opening another front for tussle with the Centre.
According to’The State of Delhi Bill 2016′ placed on government’s website for public comments, New Delhi (NDMC) and Delhi Cantonment areas will be kept out of the juridication of the proposed Delhi state. The term Lt Governor will be replaced with ‘Governor’.
In the Bill, the city governmnet has advocated creation of a seperate official cadre for the state. Besides, High Court for the existing National Capital Territory will be called the ‘High Court of Delhi, it states.
An all-party meeting will be held on the issue, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said while urging rivals BJP and Congress to “rise above differences” and went on to quote from old manifestos of BJP and Congress wherein both parties had promised full statehood.
“The BJP has struggled the most on the issue. They have consistently raised it. We are merely taking their resolve forward by inviting public opinion on this draft,” Kejriwal told a press conference here, when asked about the AAP’s action plan if the draft is rejected by the Centre.
Kejriwal said that he will write letters and also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP President Amit Shah and Congress President Sonia Gandhi to garner support for the draft bill, which keeps the high-profile NDMC area, out of its jurisdiction.
The bill also states that all consequential amendments to the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act 1957, the Delhi Development Act 1957, the Delhi Police Act 1978 and other statutes passed by Parliament in respect of matters enumerated in the State List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution will be carried out by the Legislative Assembly of the State of Delhi.
Arvind Kejriwal said after June 30, the final version of the draft would be prepared and a resolution would be passed by the Delhi Assembly to this effect. “We will forward the resolution to the Centre which in turn will have to bring Constitutional Amendment,” he said.
“The draft has been put on the Delhi government’s website. Through its passage, we seek to fulfill the dreams of Congress and BJP. We should rise above party lines. A special session of the Assembly may also be called for passing the resolution,” the CM said, flanked by his deputy Manish Sisodia.
Embassy areas and central government are in the NDMC zone of the city and in view of this, NDMC area may have separate police, he said.
A senior government official said that in many US cities, education universities run a police department of their own which is separate from the city police department. These university police departments are able to offer higher quality services, such as faster response times, frequent patrolling, in their jurisdiction than what the city police will be able to deliver.