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Full statehood status to Delhi may cause constitutional as well as political problems

By Vinod

New Delhi, Aug 28: The Delhi government led by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is demanding full statehood status to Delhi and it has handed over 10 lakh signature to the PMO. Is giving full statehood status to Delhi really feasible as it will not only cause constitutional but political crises?

As per Article 4 (2) of the constitution, Parliament can reorganize a state or alter its boundaries by a simple majority in the ordinary process of legislation. The case of Delhi is little different which was a Union Territory with an administrator as the agent of the President that was given to it in 1956. By the 69th amendment of the constitution, Delhi got a Legislative Assembly with the enactment of National Capital Territory Act 1991. But as per legal luminaries, Delhi is a Union territory with legislature where the Centre and state authorities are in charge.

Full statehood status to Delhi may cause constitutional as well as political problems

A Supreme Court lawyer Uday Kumar says that there lies the trouble. In reality, Delhi is neither a state nor a Union territory as a result the capital of the nation suffers from a constitutional lacuna. It in no way is similar to creating states like Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Telengana. Even if Delhi gets the status of full statehood its problems will be rather magnified.

Also Read | AAP submits 10 lakh letters to PM demanding full statehood for Delhi

Uday Kumar says, "Full statehood status might create problem, even constitutional ones, for instance if there is law and order problem near Rashtrapati Bhawan, if the security concern is of the state as policing is the subject of the state list, the problem will be certainly there."

He says, "Considering the present set up as an example, the internal security of Delhi comes under the purview of the Centre and so do several other matters like public order and land acquisition. There is a dual government in Delhi. Now, the state looks up at the Centre for the law and order purposes as the subject for Delhi is in the hands of the later. What difference will it make after full statehood status is given to Delhi? The problem will be just the other way round.

Political analyst Rajvir Sharma says, "Not constitutional but political problems too will start arising with Delhi having different ruling party and the Centre having the different. They may lack cooperation and problem may arise as it is happening at moment."

Uday says that only London among the capital of nations has the democratic government but United Kingdom is not a federal government but a unitary monarchy. The capital of the US - Washington DC - is merely a district council.

He says things are different for Delhi as there are so many things in state lists and many others in Union list that might cause confrontation. State lists consists subject like public order, police, prison, land acquisition and right over properties, collection of revenue, duties and taxes. If Delhi is full state a tricky situation will arise as the Centre will not have the control over the territory it sits on.

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