Amid a raging row over exercise of powers in Delhi, Centre on Saturday said that full statehood rights cannot be given to Aam Aadmi Party led Delhi government unless there is a general consensus in the country on the issue as it is the national capital.
“Whenever there will be general consensus in the country on giving full statehood status to the national capital, it is possible. But till that is not done, full statehood rights cannot be given to the state government,” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
He was asked about Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) views on granting full statehood to Delhi, as promised by it in the past.
He, however, noted that the confusion over rights exercised by the Centre and the elected government would lead to “offices being shut down” and to avoid that the Home Ministry had issued the classificatory notification on Friday.
“If there is confusion, then offices will be locked. And to ensure offices are not shut, it is Centre’s responsibility to clarify and Home Ministry has fulfilled that responsibility by issuing a classificatory notification to make it clear what rights rest with the Centre and what with the elected government,” he said.
On the ongoing controversy between the Lt Governor and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal over appointment of officers, he said people of Delhi were waiting for governance by the elected government even after 100 days of being in power.
“The elected government should strive and the public is waiting for 100 days that within the domain of those rights, it initiates steps to provide governance in Delhi,” he said.
The Minister said Delhi is a Union Territory, which is today’s constitutional truth and Union Territories are under the Centre, but Delhi and Puducherry that have elected governments have separate arrangements, where some constitutional rights have been given to them.
The rights not given to their elected governments rest with the Centre and those rights are exercised by the Lt Governor, he said, adding that there is no scope for any grey area.
The Centre yesterday put its weight behind Delhi LG who has been given absolute powers in appointment of bureaucrats and he need not “consult” the chief minister on subjects like transfer of senior officers, police and public order.
Arvind Kejrial Government had attacked the Centre over the notification, accusing it of trying to rule Delhi through the backdoor and protect the corrupt.