New Delhi: Holding Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal responsible for the “stalemate” in the national capital, his Congress predecessor Sheila Dikshit on Friday advised him to approach Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demand full statehood instead of protesting.
“The demand for full statehood can only be made in Parliament as it is the sole authority to change the Constitution,” the three-time Delhi Chief Minister told reporters here.
“As Delhi is a union territory, the Lt. Governor and the Chief Minister have no power to change the Constitution. And if Kejriwal wants to make a demand for full statehood, then he should approach Parliament and the Prime Minister,” she said.
She said that her party had also demanded full statehood for Delhi.
“But then we realised that Delhi, being the national capital of the country, the city government cannot get control over the Delhi Police and the land.”
Dikshit also accused Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of protesting to hide their failures on real issues.
“They have failed on every front and to hide their failures they are protesting at the LG’s house,” she alleged.
“I have not seen any of the elected government sitting on a protest like this. I don’t know what they are trying to hide and what is their aim behind such protest. They should first tell us what is their aim.”
“Till date, we have not been able to understand, for what he is fighting for and what is the motive behind such fights?
“Does he (Kejriwal) want to change the Constitution?” she asked.
Asked about Kejriwal’s challenge to Dikshit to work under Modi government and get things done, the Congress leader said: “Well, he will not get this chance ever. I don’t know on what grounds he (Kejriwal) said this.”
“Even we worked under the BJP government for over six years in Delhi, but there was never such a condition. Meanwhile, between 1998-2004, we converted about one lakh vehicles into CNG, we privatised power, we brought water reforms in the city.”
Advising Kejriwal to sort out his differences with the Lt. Governor, she said that the relationship between the two and the Chief Secretary is of coordination. “There should not be any conflict in this. If that is absent, then they can get the Chief Secretary changed by informing the Central government, but protesting this way is not right on part of the Chief Minister.”
Terming these kind of protests “shameful”, Dikshit said: “There is a way in getting things done. One can get things done by approaching in a proper way and talking sweetly.”
The sit-in protest at Lt. Governor Anil Baijal’s office-cum-residence by Kejriwal, and his cabinet colleagues — Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, and ministers Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai — entered the fifth day on Friday.
The hunger strike by Jain entered Day 3 and that by Sisodia entered Day 2.
BJP leaders also held a demonstration at the Delhi Secretariat against Kejriwal’s sit-in protest.