New Delhi, May 18: Opposition BJP and Congress today termed Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's demand for full statehood for Delhi as a move to "divert" attention from MCD bypoll results and "possibile" disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs.
The AAP government today released a draft bill on full statehood to Delhi, seeking to bring police, land, municipal corporations and bureaucracy under its control, and invited suggestions from the public till June 30, opening another front for tussle with the Centre.
The full statehood demand raised by Aam Admi Party government is aimed at "diverting attention" of people from party's "less than expected" performance in the MCD bypolls, Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken said.
"Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal ji always raises the issue of Statehood to divert the attention from his failures. This time it is the dismal performance in the MCD By-Polls."
He added that the party will study the draft Bill released by the AAP government before clearing its stand on the demand. However, Maken said that the full statehood demanded by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal means that Delhi will "loose" its national capital status.
"As far as full statehood demanded for Delhi by Kejriwal government is concerned, it would mean that the city will loose its national capital status and also all the privileges that come with it," he said.
Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay also alleged that the full statehood demand was aimed at "diverting media attention" from "by-election failures" and "possibility" of disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs However, Upadhyay said that the full statehood for Delhi earlier demanded by BJP was "not desirable" under the "present federal structure".
"It has been an old demand of BJP but with the changing circumstances and administrative experience BJP has understood that granting full statehood to the national capital is not desirable under the present federal structure," he said. He clarified that the BJP-led NDA is not in a position to get the full statehood Bill passed because it lacks majority in Rajya Sabha.
He said AAP government "creating controversy" on the occasion of Republic Day in 2013 and "insult of the Prime Minister by Kejriwal" have so "weakened" the relations between the Centre and the state government, that no Central government would grant full statehood to Delhi.