Kejriwal demands statehood for Delhi, Pondy

Puducherry/Chennai: “The kind of ruthlessness with which the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is trying to suppress democracy all over the country is unprecedented,” said Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal yesterday, lending his support to Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, who has been staging a dharna outside Raj Nivas since 13 February against Lt Governor Kiran Bedi for rejecting government files on various matters sent to her for approval.

Kejriwal was accompanied by Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and AAP MLA Somnath Bharti.

The Aam Aadmi chief alleged that the situation in both Delhi and Puducherry were the same as the Lt Governors of both the Union Territories have been interfering in routine administration of the governments and blamed the BJP at the Centre was suppressing democracy. He demanded Statehood for both the Union Territories and said it would be the only solution.

Speaking to reporters, he said under the BJP rule chief ministers of West Bengal and Puducherry were sitting in dharnas and that it was not a shocking scenario.

“It is time that we chief ministers of the two Union Territories joined hands together to fight for statehood both politically and also through courts. We are accountable to the people as we were elected on the basis of promises we made at the elections to the people. But Kiran Bedi is not accountable to the people. She is informally accountable to the prime minister,” Kejriwal said.

Thanking Kejriwal fot his support, Narayanasamy said Puducherry had seen many Lt Governors, but Kiran Bedi was acting in the most undemocratic way. He also agreed to Kejriwal’s Statehood views, and said, “We seek your support and statehood is the only way out to wriggle out of the present predicament.”

Narayanasamy had demanded Bedi to sanction 39 government proposals that were sent to her approval since the last few weeks and insisted that they would leave the venue only after getting a positive reply from her. Speaker V Vaithilingam, Congress and DMK MLAs were also part of the protest.

Congress and its alliance partners held protest against Bedi at the Head Post office here and Kejriwal met and addressed them. He said Bedi was creating obstacles in the development work of the people. “We will demand that both Delhi and Puducherry be made full states. There is no reason why people of these states should be discriminated against,” he stated.

DMK chief M K Stalin met Narayanasamy and his ministerial colleagues on Sunday and lent his support. Stalin alleged that Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi was functioning like a dictator and was trampling democracy by bowing to Modi’s instructions and commands.

NT Bureau