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Kejriwal Vs Center: Is statehood demand for Delhi relevant?

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Video courtesy Headlines Today

By Ishan Kukreti

Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal and its Lt. Governor, Najeeb Jung are at daggers drawn over the issue of statehood for Delhi. The issue is as dear to Kejriwal as center’s reluctance over the same.

The two sides stand firm on their stand and there is reason enough, both overt and covert, for them to be so. The need to address the question of statehood for Delhi, given its size, population and governance, is inevitable. However, the ramifications of the same are mind-boggling.

According to the Constitution

Article 239 of the Constitution of India states –

“The President may appoint the Governor of a State as the administrator of an adjoining Union territory, and where a Governor is so appointed, he shall exercise his functions as such administrator independently of his Council of Ministers.”

Delhi being a Union Territory comes under the same Article. The Lt. Governor is the main administrator of Delhi. However, the 1991 Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCT) Act by the Parliament gave Delhi a quasi-state status with a Legislative Assembly.

Lt. Governor remains the main authority nonetheless, with the CM with the council of minister acting as an advisory body.

Delhi's Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung. Being a special UT, Delhi has a Lt. Governor rather than a Governor.
Delhi’s Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung. Being a special UT, Delhi has a Lt. Governor rather than a Governor.

Legislative Assembly of Delhi has the power to legislate over 26 state and 47 concurrent list subjects, barring issues relating to

1. Public Order
2. Police
3. Land

Arvind Kejriwal’s demand

The demand for Delhi’s recognition as a full-fledged state by Aam Aadmi Party holds water as the present status of National Capital makes it neither center’s nor state’s.

As law and order are not under the state government, maintaining public order becomes a nuisance. In fact, during 1984 riots the Delhi government was unable to control the violence as the headless central machinery had fallen to disarray.

At the end of the day, Delhi has to be run by the state government which without an accountable police force lacks a prominent tenet of a modern state and the means to execute its will. When push comes to shove, the government can only resort to a dharna. However the practicality of that move too is doubtful. Kejriwal’s Northern Block dharna as Delhi’s CM demanding the suspension of four police officers, on charges of non performance of duty, being the case in point.

Apart from Law and Order, land is another important issue. Development work in Delhi is carried out by Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which, again, is under the center. This means, to fulfill his promise to slum dwellers of permanent houses, Arvind Kejriwal will have to go through DDA and the central government, increasing red tape and even chances of corruption.

DDA comes under central government.
DDA comes under central government.

Similar fate will await AAP as and when it tries to build towers for free WiFi.

Center’s contention

Central government’s reluctance to make Delhi a state, like any other, is mainly because Delhi is the national capital of India. The city-state houses the national Parliament, Supreme Court, central government offices among others. Making Delhi a state would bring the center under the state government, which is an absurd situation, to say the least.

The capital houses many national structures, which is a big concern in the statehood issue.
The capital houses many national structures, which is a big concern in the statehood issue.

Delhi is not just the seat of the national government, but also the center of international diplomacy which houses embassies and is frequented by international envoys. This puts the proposition of granting statehood to Delhi in the soup.

Moreover, Delhi with an annual budget allotment of 40,000 crores, out of which only two thirds is raised by it, survives on the finances of nation as a whole. This makes all states have an equal claim over it.

Delhite’s stake

A simple fact that is missed amidst the deafening political clamor and passion for a state specific sort of patriotism for ‘Statehood for Delhi’ is the practicality and profitability of the move for the people of Delhi.

Being the national capital, Delhi gets major financial inputs from the center right now apart from subsidies. Absence of this financial support would increase the burden on the state government and subsequently on the people. Delhi Metro, many stadiums and public places are being run by the central government right now. Bearing the complete burden of theses will prove difficult for the state government.

Bearing the complete burden of DMRC will prove difficult for the state government.
Bearing the complete burden of DMRC will prove difficult for the state government.

Chintan Raghuvanshi, Assistant Commissioner, IRS says, “One of the benefits to the people once Delhi becomes a state will be through Delhi’s ability to ask for better deals from the center and a larger share of centrally collected taxes. However with Delhi being a major economic center, the new state government will also be in a position to levy new taxes on top of the already existent ones.”

Postscript

A full-fledged statehood for Delhi would mean bifurcating the state in two; Delhi, the national capital and Delhi, the state. It would entail division of the total governmental apparatus, including the police, government offices etc. Plus, Delhi as a state, would lose its special status that it enjoys as the national capital right now.

Considering the pros and cons of the issue, readjusting Delhi’s status should include a smaller national capital region and a state region of Delhi, somewhat along the lines of Vatican City or City of London.

Police should be under the state government to facilitate its functioning, while a centralized force can serve the national capitol. Similar changes should be made to the functioning of DDA.

Given the current situation, statehood for Delhi, for all practical and political reasons, is a distant dream. However, recent developments have unleashed forces that can turn this dream into a waking reality requiring an objective and practicality driven discourse on the issue unspoiled petty politics.

Vatican City. Readjusting Delhi's status should include a smaller national capital region and a state region of Delhi.
Vatican City. Readjusting Delhi’s status should include a smaller national capital region and a state region of Delhi.

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Dogfight in Aam Aadmi Party : The audio clip of Kumar Vishwas reveals the party is no longer for principles but for personal aspirations

Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party seems to be more engaged in dogfight rather than developmental politics. The new audio clip of Kumar Vishwas reveals discontentment within senior leaders of AAP

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  • The abusive audio clip of Kumar Vishwas surfaces hinting at split in Aam Aadmi Party

  • Aam Aadmi Party which claimed to bring clean politics is no longer working on principles, its an ongoing dogfight between unsatisfied political aspirants

Just few days back, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party was slapped with Rs. 30 crores Income Tax notice. The party which claimed to revive clean politics was itself found dirty. The Income Tax notice cited that the Aam Aadmi Party had not disclosed income worth Rs 13.16 crore. According to the IT Department, the money received as donations in its bank account was not recorded in the books of accounts. Today an audio clip of Kumar Vishwas surfaced hinting at rift within the party.

Last year, Chanda Bandh Satyagraha (www.nolistnodonation.com) led by Dr. Munish Raizada was initiated against Aam Aadmi Party’s backtracking on financial transparency which gathered a huge amount of support from section of Aam Aadmi Party who were not ready to compromise on principles. But anyone who raised questions against Arvind Kejriwal’s dubious stance on donation transparency were sidelined from the party.

Aam aadmi Party Illegal Donations
Chanda Bandh Satyagrah led by Dr. Munish Kumar Raizada against dubious donations of Aam Aadmi Party

The leaked audio clip of Kumar Vishwas suggests that individual ambitions are derailing the Aam Aadmi Party, risking the public’s confidence. What issues dominate the AAP? The party members no longer seem to have any aspiration for developmental politics, they are rather engaged in dogfight for power and position. Unmet with expectations, many of the founding members of party like Yogendra Yadav are no more with the AAP today. It certainly affects prospects for party expansion. People supported AAP because it offered hope of a wider democratic platform, giving ordinary Indians a political voice. But it now seems that Aam Aadmi Party is just a bunch of opportunists trying to grab political space for their own development through corruption and dubious political donations.

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Since its inception, Aam Aadmi Party has been indulged in all those things it promised to stood against of. AAP has failed to deliver what it promised. The list of scams by Aam Aadmi Party is endless. From Thali scam where total food bill of 80 guests amounted to Rs 11, 04,357 costing Rs 12,000 to Rs 16,000 per plate to 400 crore Delhi water tanker scam, AAP has crushed the expectations of people who were hoping for an honest political party. Arvind Kejriwal’s government spent a large chunk of taxpayer’s money for party advertisement. The advertisements were found to be in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines.Transport Minister of Delhi Gopal Rai from Aam Aadmi Party is involved in scam worth crores of rupees in Auto Rickshaw Permit scam. Sacked Delhi minister Kapil Mishra alleged that he witnessed Satyendar Jain giving Rs 2 crore in cash to the party chief Arvind Kejriwal. The list can go on, but the serious question here is the credibility of Aam Aadmi Party. The audio clip of Kumar Vishwas hints at rift within the party, this explains well why Delhi is suffering under bad governance, the key members of party are indulged in back bitching and score setting.

– by SHAURYA RITWIK, Shaurya is Sub-Editor at NewsGram and writes on Geo-politcs, Culture, Indology and Business. Twitter Handle – @shauryaritwik

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Delhi government’s liquor license scam exposed

AAP has turned Delhi into liquor den.

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Delhi government's liquor license scam exposed
Arvind Kejriwaal,Delhi CM.Flickr
 • Illegal liquor licenses granted in shopping malls
 
• Swaraj India protests against illegal vends at Cross River Mall
 
• Illegal vends have turned the mall into a liquor den
 
• Liquor license scam, a perfect example of unholy collusion between AAP & BJP
 
• Arvind Kejriwal, who came to power on the promise of making Delhi addiction free, has today become the Badal of Delhi and Manish Sisodia another Majithia.
New Delhi, Nov 5: Newly formed political party, the Swaraj India has exposed a major scandal in the distribution of liquor licenses by the Delhi government. Party’s Chief National Spokesperson and Delhi State President, Anupam, said that the Delhi government is illegally distributing L10 category liquor licenses enabling dealers to open vends in shopping malls of the city.
The Delhi government offers licenses in the L-10 category to liquor vends in shopping malls of the city. Definition of shops operating from within a mall is clearly stated in the law and the rule mandates that all shops operating from within a mall should be opening up within the building only and cannot have an entrance towards the exterior side of the mall. But Delhi government and the mall management have created these liquor shops against the approved map of the mall. Every week, the Excise officials of Delhi Government are supposed to inspect liquor vends existing in the city, but not a single objection has been raised against these vends that are blatantly violating rules every single day.
And this has resulted in around a dozen liquor vends springing up in just the ground floor of the Cross River Mall. This has turned the shopping mall into a den of liquor vends leaving people living in nearby residential areas helpless. Neither the Delhi government nor the MCD and nor the Delhi police are even taking note of this broad daylight scam. “Is this not a direct sign that all the levels of the government and administration are complicit in letting this illegal trade grow?” Anupam asked.
Everyone in Delhi is well aware of how the employees of MCD don’t lose a moment to demand their share when any construction work begins anywhere. But when illegal constructions are done at such a large scale in a big mall, the MCD doesn’t even blink an eye.
Cross River mall is located in an area from where the Councillor, the MLA as well as the MP are from the BJP. The illegal license is being granted by AAP led Delhi government. It is surprising to see such a harmonious blend between the Aam Aadmi Party and BJP. Promoting liquor trade in Delhi seems to be such a profitable business for both the BJP as well as the AAP that it has brought together the two parties that are otherwise always at loggerheads. Are the black transactions involved in such liquor business the real reason why not a single question has yet been raised by anyone or any party?
Earlier in the last, the Delhi government has eased rules for granting the license to new liquor vends by reducing the minimum carpet area required from 1000 to 500 square feet. And now, in clear dereliction of rules, even vends are being run in the shopping malls.
 On Sunday, Swaraj India’s Mahila Swaraj Morcha protested against the numerous liquor vends in Cross River Mall of Delhi and demanded that the liquor shops be closed down. And in this mall in Shahdara, around a dozen liquor shops have been opened up by granting illegal licenses of the L10 category. And outside this mall, that has been turned into a den of liquor vends, a crowd of drunkards creating an atmosphere of hooliganism has become a daily affair. There has been a continuous increase in crime in the drunken state, where eve-teasing & snatching have become a regular affair.
Sarvesh Verma, President of the party’s Mahila Morcha, said that Arvind Kejriwal who rode to power on the promise of making Delhi an addiction-free city has today become the Badal of Delhi with Sisodia as another Majithia.
Anupam said that though the Delhi government’s anti-women policies will result in the promotion of alcohol addiction but Swaraj India will not let these nefarious plans succeed. The party has earlier as well launched mass agitations against the granting of liquor licenses in residential areas of Delhi, because of which the Delhi government was compelled to announce a ban on the distribution of new licenses. If the government does not immediately order an investigation into the illegal L10 vends and stop this unholy collusion, the Mahila Swaraj Morcha of Swaraj India will take this agitation ahead for the betterment of Delhi.

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Anti-Punjab Conspiracy: Apologise to Punjabis for Branding them as Drug Addicts, Demands Akali Dal to Rahul Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal

A survey by PGIMER had revealed that drugs abuse in Punjab was just around one per cent of the 2.8 crore population in the state

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Punjab
Sukhbir Singh Badal, President of Akali Dal in Punjab. Wikimedia

Chandigarh, Sep 11, 2017: Punjab’s opposition Akali Dal on Sunday said that latest findings of PGIMER survey listing drug addiction in the state at less than a per cent had yet again nailed the “anti-Punjab conspiracy” of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and demanded they apologise to the people.

“The latest comprehensive survey which was carried out in all 22 districts as well as 22 villages in each district, had exposed the anti-Punjab conspiracy of Rahul Gandhi and his team as well as that of AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal,” SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal said in a statement here.

“Both leaders and their parties should now tell Punjabis why they branded them as drug addicts and tender an unconditional apology to the people of the state.”

Claiming that the “entire conspiracy was hatched to counter the development narrative of the previous SAD-BJP government”, Badal said though the Congress had succeeded in its goal of achieving power in Punjab, it had caused incalculable damage to its people and its economy.

“Both Congress and AAP played with the lives of the youth and made them virtually unhireable. The image distortion also dented the image of Punjab and Punjabis worldwide,” he said.

Highlighting Rahul Gandhi’s “nefarious role in this sordid chapter of Punjab politics”, Badal said he was “definitely the villain-in-chief”.

“Rahul uttered an utter lie to reap political mileage for his flagging party by claiming in October 2012 at a NSUI function in Chandigarh that 70 per cent of the state’s youth were drug addicts.

“This despite the fact that he knew well that he was reading out a sample survey of drug addicts of which youth formed a big share,” he said.

“During the Punjab assembly campaign this year, he insisted he was speaking the truth and even had the gall to ask Punjabis to admit they were drug addicts. Such behaviour coming from the chosen scion of the Gandhi dynasty is shameful,” he added.

A survey done by a team of doctors and researchers of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research had revealed that drugs abuse in Punjab was just around one per cent of the 2.8 crore population in the state.

Badal said that Aam Aadmi Party leader Kejriwal and “his gang of outsiders had also tried to doom the future of the youth by claiming 40 lakh youth were drug addicts”.

“The PGIMER report puts the entire number of addicts in the state at 2.7 lakh. Other reports, included that conducted by AIIMS, had come out with even lower figures than this,” he added.

A detailed survey by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi had put the drug addiction at 0.84 per cent.

“The Punjab government also got a dope test conducted on 3.76 lakh youth who presented themselves for police recruitment. The test, which was conducted by the Baba Farid Health Sciences University, saw only 1.27 per cent candidates testing positive,” Badal said, citing a survey done during the Akali government last year. (IANS)