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Delhi CM to Go on ‘Indefinite Fast’ to Demand Full Statehood

“From 1 March, we will launch the movement to make Delhi a full state,” Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday.

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Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday, 23 February, announced that he will launch an indefinite hunger strike from 1 March to press the demand for full statehood to Delhi.

Addressing the Budget Session of Delhi Assembly, Kejriwal stepped up his attack on the Centre and said the Delhi government is unable to perform its duties towards people of the city because it lacked power.

“I will sit on an indefinite hunger strike for full statehood to Delhi from March. People have given us so much that even if we have to sacrifice our lives for them, it is immaterial,” Kejriwal told the House.

He claimed the people of Delhi were facing "injustice and humiliation" since independence because the government elected by them lacked power to work for them.

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“The elected government of Delhi cannot give people justice, work for them and take up development works because it lacks power and the central government obstructs its functioning. Is the value of Delhi voters less than other states?” he questioned.

He said the Centre has control over Delhi Police, municipal corporations and DDA, which is why people "were suffering due to high crime rate and lack of development".

Speaking to ANI, former Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said, “Only a Parliament session can change the Constitution for Delhi to be accorded full statehood and no parliament session will be held now, so why is he doing this? I don't understand.”

‘Full Statehood in Two Years’

Kejriwal, on Thursday, had said that he will ensure that Delhi gets full statehood in two years and that within the next 10 years, everyone in the city will have a house.

"I am saying this here in front of you all. If in two years I don't make Delhi a full state, you can change my name. The day it is declared a full state, everyone will have a pucca house within 10 years," he had said while addressing a public rally in Delhi, IANS reported.

The Delhi CM had also said that he can even enter the house of the prime minister to get full statehood for Delhi.

“If we can enter the house of Delhi Lt Governor to get the signature on files, we can also enter the house of the prime minister to get full statehood for Delhi,” he said.

"We are ready to sacrifice our lives for the people of Delhi. But now is the time we should fight for full statehood,” he added.

The demand for ‘Statehood for Delhi’ was one of AAP’s electoral promises in the run-up to the 2015 Delhi Assembly Elections, which saw tangible action being taken when AAP passed the ‘State of Delhi Bill’ in 2016.

Kejriwal’s efforts, however, were undone due to the non-compliance of the BJP-led central government.

(With inputs from PTI, IANS)

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