Dilli Maange Apna Haq; SC verdict on who administers Delhi likely on Wed

AAP launches 10-lakh signature campaign for full statehood to Delhi

Agency Report | New Delhi | 3 July, 2018 | 11:10 PM

The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce on Wednesday its verdict over who -- the Centre or the elected Delhi government -- controls the reins of power to administer the national capital.

A Constitution Bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.K. Sikri, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, and Justice Ashok Bhushan had reserved the verdict on the contentious issue between the Centre and the AAP government on December 6 last year after hearing the matter for 15 days.

The Delhi government had moved the apex court to challenge a Delhi High Court verdict that held that the Lt Governor held primacy over an elected government in the administration of Delhi.

Asserting that it had the executive powers on which it can aid and advice the Lt Governor, the Arvind Kejriwal government had contended that an elected government can’t be treated subservient to an overriding authority of the Lt Governor.

The Delhi government also contended that it was only in an emergency situation that the Lt Governor can refer to the President the matters on which there are differences of opinion between the Lt Governor and the elected government.

The Delhi government also argued that the constitutional provisions can be interpreted only to advance the goals of the Constitution and the people’s democratic aspirations.

On the other hand, the Centre contended that all executive powers to administer the national capital were vested in it and that it exercised the same through the Lt Governor.

The Centre told the court that the “aid and advice” by the elected Delhi government was not binding on the Lt Governor, as was the case with other states.

Even as the Centre sought to underline the pivotal position that the Lt Governor enjoys in the administration of Delhi, the apex court said that the Lt Governor was expected to show “constitutional statesmanship” in dealing with an elected government.
Marking the first day of their signature campaign in support of full statehood to Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday opened its first “Andolan Kendra” (campaign centre) in the national capital.

Under the campaign “Dilli Maange Apna Haq” (Delhi demands its right), the AAP will open 3,000 such centres and reach out to 10 lakh families seeking their signatures for the cause.

“Our party workers will go to every household in Delhi, along with a letter from (Chief Minister) Arvind Kejriwal, and seek their signature on the letter demanding full statehood to Delhi. We will then deliver these letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Delhi Rural Development Minister Gopal Rai said.

Rai was in Model Town, along with AAP’S national secretary Pankaj Gupta, to inaugurate the party’s first campaign centre and inform the people there about the benefits of full statehood to Delhi and how to take forward this campaign, which will go on till July 25.

“Our target for the next 15 days will be to get 15,000 letters signed,” Rai said.

Asked whether the campaign has been launched with an eye on the elections next year, Rai denied that it has anything to do with the elections, saying: “We will continue our campaign until our demand for full statehood to Delhi is met.”

He said if Delhi gets full statehood, it would be possible to resolve problems like unemployment, admission of Delhi youth in colleges and slum clusters-related issues.

“Youth with 95 per cent marks are roaming around from college to college but not getting admission. If Delhi becomes a full state, then we can build more colleges here which will guarantee admission to Delhiites.

“If Delhi is granted full statehood, we can guarantee a house to every resident and jobs to at least 80 per cent of them,” he said. (IANS)