AAP’s Gopal Rai asks Rahul Gandhi to support demand for full statehood to Delhi

New Delhi: Senior AAP leader Gopal Rai Wednesday asked the Congress to support the demand of full statehood for Delhi so that the people of the national capital can lead their lives with dignity. In a letter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Rai said the grand old party should support the demand for full statehood to Delhi instead of proposing to amend GNCTD Act 1991.

In its manifesto released Tuesday, the Congress said it “promises to amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act, 1991 to make it clear that the Lieutenant Governor shall act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers except in matters concerning the three reserved subjects.” Rai said this was “extremely disappointing.”

“This is factually incorrect and these four lines do not convey anything. Firstly, aid and advice has nothing to do with the GNCTD Act, and it is extremely disappointing that after having promised statehood for Delhi for decades, your party has now gone back on its promise,” he said in the letter. He further said that it appears that this issue has been hurriedly incorporated in the Congress manifesto “without any homework or research”. “For undoing the injustice to Delhi, it is time for a fresh constitutional amendment to provide it with full statehood.

“I request you to reconsider the stand taken by your party in the manifesto regarding Delhi and support the demand for full statehood, which will allow the people of Delhi to lead their lives with dignity,” the letter said. The letter also said that while the party was promising a NYAY scheme to ensure minimum income guarantee to the poor families, it needs to look at the “decades of injustice” on the people of Delhi. “Can you imagine that in the current set-up, the elected Delhi government has no powers to even transfer a peon? From senior-most to contractual staff, not a single employee reports to the elected government,” Rai said in the letter.

He said that currently, the Lieutenant Governor can veto any proposal of the elected government because of which Delhi government had no power. “Can this be allowed to continue? A politically appointed LG can stall any welfare scheme of the elected government which it wants to launch out of its own budget. Delhi does not virtually get any Central financial assistance and is on its own,” he said. “I am confident that you will stand for justice with Delhi,” the AAP Delhi Convenor said in his letter to Gandhi.

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