Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Sunday that his party would accelerate its campaign for statehood with more than 150 special cells. At a meeting in Delhi's Indira Gandhi stadium attended by thousands of Aam Aadmi Party supporters and leaders, Mr Kejriwal said the AAP will submit 10 lakh letters from the residents of Delhi to the Prime Minister, demanding full statehood.
At a special session recently, the Delhi assembly adopted a resolution on "full statehood", which was part of the party's pre-election promise.
Mr Kejriwal, who at the time, had promised to campaign for the BJP if the centre granted full statehood to Delhi, today said he wished to remind Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his promise to give full statehood to Delhi before the 2019 election.
"Unless he delivers on the promise, he would again fail to win a single seat from Delhi," he said.
Appealing to all political parties to unite to demand complete statehood, Mr Kejriwal said it was "not just the Aam Aadmi Party's fight".
For Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, he had a message too. "Rahul Gandhi should make clear if Congress is in favour of giving full statehood to Delhi or not," he said on Sunday amid a buzz that the two parties are considering an alliance ahead of the 2019 general elections.
"I would like to ask Rahul-ji, Congress used to speak about seeking statehood for Delhi, but now Ajay Maken and Sheila Dikshit are saying it's should not be done. Rahul-ji, you must give your view on this matter," Arvind Kejriwal said.
The Congress has so far been ambivalent on the statehood issue.
While Delhi's three-time Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had once complained about the division of power impeding Delhi's development, she had trashed Mr Kejriwal's recent protest at the Lieutenant Governor's house.
At a press meet in the national capital last month, she said Mr Kejriwal was not conscious of his constitutional duties and his protest was protest as an "excuse to not work".
In 2015, Congress leader Ajay Maken had said, "Statehood idea is a very dangerous idea Kejriwal ji has given... this idea is not only anti-constitutional but also anti-national".
Two days ago, AAP had tweeted: "Both BJP & Congress were deceiving Delhi on Full statehood for Delhi till now. Both are silent now & saving each other by targeting AAP."
Under "Dilli maange apna haq" (Delhi demands its right) campaign, AAP plans to reach out to Delhi'ites with a door-to-door campaign for signatures in support of full statehood demand. The campaign will start on July 3 and end on July 25.
"Our party workers will go to every household in Delhi, along with a letter from (Chief Minister) Kejriwal, to sign a letter to demand full statehood for Delhi. We will then deliver these signed letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi," said Mr Kejriwal's deputy Manish Sisodia.
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