New Delhi: In a clarion call, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today exhorted party workers with the slogan 'L-G, Delhi Chhodo' (Lieutenant Governor, Quit Delhi), as the ruling Aam Aadmi Party announced a city-wide campaign for full statehood to Delhi. Addressing the party's ward-level officer-bearers and legislators at his residence in New Delhi, the chief minister equalled the fight for Delhi's full statehood with the freedom struggle. In a passionate address, he said Mahatma Gandhi had launched Quit India campaign during the British rule, and the Aam Aadmi Party will run 'L-G, Delhi Chhodo' campaign.
- Arvind Kejriwal equalled fight for full statehood with freedom struggle
- AAP workers will hold meetings at 300 locations in Delhi
- Call for full statehood comes ahead of the Lok Sabha election
He said that in 1947, India got freedom and all British viceroys were removed, but in Delhi, the Lieutenant Governor or Lt Governor was appointed in place of viceroys.
Elaborating on the campaign, Mr Kejriwal said AAP leaders, MLAs and workers will hold meetings at 300 locations in the national capital from June 17 to June 24 in the first phase of the agitation.
In the second phase, AAP has planned to hold party workers' convention at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium on July 1, where the next course of action will be decided, he said.
"Had a meeting wid ward level office bearers of AAP Delhi. Made strategy to take msg of full statehood to every house in Delhi (sic)", the chief minister tweeted after the meeting.
The clarion call for full statehood to Delhi comes ahead of the Lok Sabha elections scheduled next year.
According to party sources, the ruling party in Delhi is planning to strongly raise the statehood issue during the Lok Sabha elections.
"We would ask people (during meetings) whether there should be people's rule or L-G's rule in Delhi. L-G creates hurdles in our every project, be it the CCTV project or doorstep delivery of ration," Mr Kejriwal said.
During his address, the AAP supremo also pitched for 85 per cent reservation in recruitment for Delhi government departments.
"If we want to open colleges, they (L-G) do not allow. It is not the issue of just development....our ancestors had also fought for freedom of the country. Delhi gives Rs 1.3 lakh crore tax to the Centre, but we get nothing in lieu of this...Every person in Delhi will get good job and every family will get own house if Delhi is given full statehood status," he said.
The chief minister also attacked former chief minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit, alleging that during her government's tenure, people were fed up with inflated water and electricity bills, as well as the poor condition of government hospitals.
"During your (Sheila) tenure, your party's government was at the Centre for ten years and your L-G was also there. I challenge you to run Delhi under Modi's rule for one year," Mr Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.
His comment came in response to Ms Dikshit's reported statement that she ruled Delhi for 15 years, but never had any conflict with the Centre and Lt Governor during her tenure.
Senior AAP leader Gopal Rai alleged that the BJP and Congress have taken 'U turn' on the issue of full statehood to Delhi.
The AAP government has called a special session of the Delhi Assembly to press its demand for full statehood to Delhi. Earlier this week, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had tabled a government resolution in this regard.
Mr Kejriwal is likely to speak on the issue in the assembly on Monday.