Draft Bill For Delhi's Full Statehood Likely This Week

16/05/2016 9:39 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - APRIL 25: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal speaks during the launch of a mobile app for government schools in the presence of all government school Principals & Estate Managers at Thyagaraj Stadium on April 25, 2016 in New Delhi, India. The mobile app will be used by school estate managers to file complaints and inspection reports on the day-to-day maintenance of school infrastructure. Estate managers have been appointed in 650 schools and the remaining schools will be covered in the next two to three months. (Photo by Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to make public later this week the draft Bill for Delhi's full statehood seeking control over police, DDA and transfer and postings of bureaucrats, a move that may set stage for another confrontation with the Centre.

A senior official today said the Delhi government will place the draft bill in public domain and seek comments and suggestions from them, bringing the contentious issue to the fore.

Sources said the NDMC area which houses the Rashtrapati Bhavan, residences of the Vice President, the Prime Minister, parliamentarians and foreign missions will remain untouched in the draft.

In the draft bill, the AAP dispensation will ensure that institutions such as Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Police will be accountable to the elected government of the national capital, they said.

"The Chief Minister will make public draft bill for statehood of Delhi this week and seek comments and suggestions from the masses. After receiving suggestions and comments from people, the draft bill will be tabled in Delhi Cabinet for its nod.

"Once the draft bill is passed by the Cabinet, it will then be tabled in Delhi Assembly. Thereafter, the House will pass a resolution in favour of full statehood for Delhi and then send it to the Centre for Constitutional amendment," a source said, adding Parliament will take the final decision on the issue.

The Delhi government may call a special session to pass the resolution on the issue.

Through the draft bill, the Kejriwal government is likely to seek control over transfer and postings of bureaucrats working with it.

The central government and the AAP dispensation have been at loggerheads over the transfer and postings of officers in the past.

Granting full statehood to the national capital is one of the major electoral promises of Aam Aadmi Party, in the absence of which it has frequently clashed with the BJP-led Centre over matters of jurisdiction since assuming office.

The BJP has had an ambivalent stance on the issue although the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had introduced a bill in Parliament in 2003 to confer full statehood to Delhi, which was never passed.

Last year, AAP had planned to hold a referendum on the issue, which was later shelved after constitutional experts said anything of that sort would be "unconstitutional".

In its manifesto, AAP had declared that it will push for full statehood acting within the constitutional framework and using its moral and political authority.

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