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CM Arvind Kejriwal asks BJP to grant statehood to Delhi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said if the national capital was granted full statehood before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, AAP would campaign in favour of BJP, but anything less than that would result in a “BJP leave Delhi” movement. Kejriwal’s remarks came on the last day of the special session of the Delhi Assembly, which accepted the resolution on full statehood to the national çapital.

Kejriwal, who has turned the fight for Delhi’s full statehood into a plank for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, further said if the Narendra Modi-led government acceded to its demand, it would ensure that “each and every vote from Delhi goes in your favour”.

“I want to tell BJP that if before 2019 Elections, Delhi is granted statehood, we’ll make sure that each and every vote from Delhi goes in your favour, we’ll campaign for you,”ANI quoted Kejriwal as saying inside Delhi Assembly. However, he warned that if the AAP demand was not granted, people of Delhi would throw out the BJP from the state. “If you don’t do so, Delhi residents will put up boards saying ‘BJP leave Delhi’,” ANI quoted Kejriwal as saying.

The last day of the special session of the Delhi Assembly witnessed high drama as the opposition members first staged a walkout, then returned to the House and were marshalled out later. It started with Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta and BLP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa raising slogans against the Delhi government for its failure to ensure water supply to the city.

In a similar clarion call on Sunday, Kejriwal, addressing party’s ward-level office-bearers and legislators at his residence, equated 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 AAP will run ‘L-G, Delhi Chodo’ campaign.

Following the meeting, AAP leader Gopal Rai announced that the party would hold 300 meetings from June 17-24 on statehood. Rai added that even after 70 years of independence, people of Delhi were still not free: “No other state government has got a majority (like AAP in Delhi). Still, people have to go to the L-G for the smallest of tasks.”

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