Either it is BJP, Congress or newly formed AAP; everyone voiced for full-statehood status of Delhi. Archived documents showed that it was 1988 when both BJP and Congress demanded for full-statehood for the first time. Both the parties ruled in Delhi and Centre but the demand was never fulfilled. It was limited to election manifestos. BJP and Congress demanded full-statehood for 30+ years have gone silent when present Delhi AAP Govt demanded the same. Ironically, present Centre ruling BJP govt failed to acknowledge if any demand or bill is pending. Ministry of Home Affairs stated “NO” on Aug 7, 2018 when asked “whether there is a demand to give Statehood to Delhi”.

A brief historical background of Delhi as Union Territory and issues generated due to multiple governing bodies can be read here. AAP volunteer Arjun Joshi also explained the chaos in Delhi due multiple authorities by citing examples from Greater Kailash constituency. Delhi Govt has published a document titled “Primer on Full Statehood” on its website. The document explains the need the full-statehood and how it has been done in countries like USA and Canada. A chronological full-statehood demands (with proofs) from BJP and Congress are also listed in the document. Following description and chronological demands are copied from the document.

Full Statehood demand for Delhi

DDA, Police and MCD need to be fully under the Delhi government. 
  1. DDA for land and housing issues. How can the Delhi government ensure efficient and effective land usage and allocation for its people and welfare programs if it has no say in it? 
  2. Police for fixing accountability for Delhi’s law and order. The issue to make the Delhi Police is that it is currently not responsive or accountable to the people of Delhi. Every political party wants complete control over the state police and yet they keep saying that they will make Delhi a full state when elections are near. The Central Government can grant this wish of the people of Delhi, and yet both the BJP and Congress have been unsuccessful in doing so.  
  3. MCD: As a local body which is supposed to work on health, education and sanitation, the synchronization in utilization of resources is extremely poor. The BJP-run MCD is also terribly planned, extremely corrupt and fiscally imprudent.  
For example, during interactions with traders, a couple of issues constantly emerge: the harassment that they have to face by the DDA due to its unreasonable policies on conversion charges and by the MCD due to its threats to carry out ceiling drives and business closures. In both the issues Delhi government can’t do much except use its immense political capital to mount pressure.  

Is the demand for full statehood pragmatic ? 

It is certainly a pragmatic demand, and one that at least on paper is shared by the NDA at the center. If they too felt it was a foolish unrealistic promise, why would they have it in their manifesto? In fact, whenever BJP has been in opposition, full statehood of Delhi has been a major issue, which they have raised at every opportunity. 
Just because of the central government and diplomatic presence in Delhi-a city-state of 20 million people must suffer having no control over their police and land use and development? AAP does not believe so. 

Can embassies come under state controlled areas? 

Embassy areas and central government are in the NDMC zone of the city. A central run police force can easily be both provided for and budgeted for separately-while allowing the rest of Delhi Police and as importantly the DDA to come under the Delhi State Government. This is not even unheard of; as an example the Vatican exists as a separate state with a separate police force within the city limits of Rome. 
In many US cities, education universities run a police department of their own which is separate from the city police department. These university police departments are able to offer higher quality services, such as faster response times, frequent patrolling, in their jurisdiction than what the city police will be able to deliver. They have the same powers in their jurisdiction as the city police. A similar modality can be worked out in this case as well. 

Many other countries have the capital city under the central government, think of Australia, US and Canada? 

Most developed countries that you mention like USA, Australia and Canada have very small administrative capitals made for that purpose: like Washington DC, Canberra and Ottawa. They are not the big population centers of the world and are made only for governance and thus in the hands of the federal government. We have to compare ourselves to countries, which are big population centers and face big intractable problems of health, education, sanitation, security and transport. You will find that such capital cities have all administrative powers given to them to prevent policy paralysis! Even New York City, where a huge number of embassies and even the United Nations exist has local police in the NYPD and is run by a mayor. Similarly, even London has its local Police Department but has Scotland Yard for more serious investigation. Streamlining and clear delineation of responsibility is required. Yes, protection of Parliament has to be under the Central government but will the Central government take responsibility and accountability for case of sexual harassment in Burari, a robbery in Kirari or theft in Vasant Kunj? Aren’t local issues of safety and security better tackled at the local level? 

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Full Statehood of Delhi 

  1. (1988) Veteran BJP leader Kalka Dass pitches for a full state in Delhi in 1988 
  2. BJP Leader Alok Kumar in the Delhi Assembly requesting bi-partisan support to make Delhi a full-state 
  3. (1994) Former Delhi CM Madan Lal Khurana expounded the need for a Delhi State on 26 August 1994 
  4. (1998) Under the chief ministership of Sahib Singh Verma, a draft bill for full statehood of Delhi was prepared in 1998 
  5. (1999) PM Atal Behari Vajpayee and BJP Manifesto in 1999 Lok Sabha Elections promise full statehood for Delhi 
  6. (2003) The Delhi Statehood Bill was presented in Parliament in August 2003 as the Delhi State Bill by the then Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, and referred to a standing committee, which had Pranab Mukherjee as its chair 
  7. (2006) On November 21, 2006, Kiren Rijiju expresses deep concern over Delhi not receiving full statehood 
  8. (2011) In 2011, VK Malhotra, the leader of the opposition, suggested that BJP has been demanding full statehood for Delhi as far back as 1956 
  9. (2013) In the 2013 National executive meeting in Goa, BJP supported full statehood in Delhi. The then BJP president Vijay Goel said, “Delhi’s growth is restricted in absence of full statehood and Congress has done nothing during the last 14 years on this issue” 
  10. (2013) In 2013 Vidhan Sabha Election, Delhi manifesto of BJP clearly commits that it will continue the struggle for full statehood of Delhi. BJP’s CM candidate Dr. Harshvardhan stated to multiple media outlets that Delhi would be granted full statehood if his party comes to power in state and center 
  11. (2014) Even for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the state unit of BJP had come out with a Delhi specific manifesto where they had promised full statehood along with bringing Police, DDA and MCD under one roof 
  12. (2014) After coming to power at the Center, Dr. Harshavardhan reiterated this promise to Dr. Narendra Modi 

The Indian National Congress on Full Statehood of Delhi   

  1. (1988) Congress Metropolitan Councilor Mirza Sidiq Ali calls for full statehood in 1988 
  2. Mirza Sidiq Ali in the Delhi Metropolitan Council requesting bi-partisan support in the Delhi Assembly on the issue of full statehood of Delhi 
  3. Sandeep Dikshit, Sheila Dikshit’s son expresses disappointment in Parliament over DDA not being under Delhi Government 
  4. (2013) On 21 Nov 2013, ex-Delhi CM Ms. Sheila Dikshit said: “The city would have witnessed better development had my government not been shackled by the present governance structure of Delhi characterized by a multiplicity of agencies and authorities. I reiterate my demand to grant full statehood to Delhi” 
  5. (2015) On 23 Jan 2015, the Congress manifesto for Delhi said: “Delhi will become a full fledged state, its residents will have cheap electricity and better security. Full statehood is essential for effective governance without any shackles in Delhi” 

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