Delhi legislators demand statehood

Thursday, November 25, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Delhi assembly Thursday passed a resolution demanding statehood for Delhi, with legislators saying the city needs to have more administrative powers.

“We have to be responsible to the people of Delhi and so the issue of statehood must be raised. However, the government should also show some political will so that the matter can be raised effectively,” legislator Mukesh Sharma said.

He said Delhi is the only city where the municipality is not under its control.

However, discussions were carried out in the absence of opposition Bharatiya Janata Party legislators, who were marshalled out by Speaker Yoganand Shatsri for the second consecutive day for creating ruckus over the alleged scam in Commonwealth Games.

Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely said the city government needs to have governing authority over agencies like the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), police and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD).

He said the government was not able to build more schools and hospitals as it did not control departments like land and revenue.

However, chief minister Sheila Dikshit said her government does not want full statehood, but only more power in terms of land, law and order and traffic, which are presently controlled by the union home ministry.

She said the full statehood was not a viable option as it could not provide security to its large number of VVIPs and diplomats.

“But at the same time, we cannot work with irritants. If we have to run the democracy, then responsibilities have to be bestowed on us,” she said.

The Delhi assembly has passed resolutions demanding statehood many times in the past, the last being in 2002.

Filed under: Politics

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