A man steps out of a shop displaying election paraphernalia in Mumbai on Tuesday. Agence France-Presse
By Resmi Sivaram
NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday took out his strong card for the Lok Sabha election, saying that this time Delhiites would be voting for statehood. He lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre for allegedly “exploiting” the national capital.
“The polls are very crucial for the people of Delhi. So far people had been voting for electing the PM. But this time they will be voting for statehood. In that sense this election is very important,” Kejriwal told the media.
“Ambedkar had drafted the Constitution and had envisaged equal value of vote. Been 70 years, people of Delhi are being exploited relentlessly. Delhi’s share of IT is only second to Mumbai,” he said.
Kejriwal said that the Centre spent less on Delhi as compared to other states such as Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh.
He asked the Centre to “come clean” on the statehood issue. “Tiwari has said that he is not in favour of granting statehood. Modi had promised statehood. It amounts to cheating. They should come clean.”
The BJP in 2014 had promised full statehood but did nothing for it because the AAP won the state election later.
AAP leaders confided to the media that Kejriwal had directed them to burn the BJP manifesto. He himself would do it on Wednesday.
“The chief minister has said that he will burn the BJP’s 2014 manifesto as a mark of protest,” said Atishi, AAP’s candidate from East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency, who was present in the meeting that started around 6pm at Kejriwal’s residence and lasted for around two hours.
AAP legislator Madan Lal said: “The CM has told us that he himself will burn the BJP’s manifesto on March 13 (Wednesday). The MLAs have been asked to burn BJP manifestos in their respective constituencies on March 15 (Friday) and ward in-charges have been asked to do so on March 17 (Sunday).”
About law and order, the Chief Minsiter said, “Law and order, drugs, illicit liquor, thuggery, police doesn’t listen to people. Police comes directly under the HM and PM. Once we get statehood, we will ensure that women roam freely even at night.”
Kejriwal expressed confidence about winning in the upcoming polls. “We can see statements from the Congress that they are not in favour of coalition. As per our internal surveys, it seems all our seven candidates are going to win.