Full statehood for Delhi to be part of AAP poll manifesto: Kejriwal

Kejriwal on Saturday warned of strong action against a few private hospitals allegedly refusing admission to COVID-19 patients and involving in "black-marketing" of beds. File Photo: PTI

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Saturday (January 4) full statehood for Delhi will be a part of AAP’s manifesto for the upcoming assembly election and the party will keep fighting for it.

The demand was the main poll plank of AAP in the Lok Sabha election last year. However, it failed to impress the people of Delhi and AAP candidates lost on all seven seats in the city.

Addressing the fifth town-hall meeting, anchored by ABP news channel, Kejriwal said it is the only promise his party was not able to fulfil. But, he asserted, “full statehood for Delhi will be part of AAP’s election manifesto and the party will keep fighting for it.”

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The AAP is expected to release its manifesto between January 15 and 20.

Kejriwal also said if re-elected he will make roads in Delhi like that of London and Tokyo in the next five years.

“We are taking several steps to eliminate the issue of traffic congestion in Delhi. We are redesigning roads on the lines of international locations like London, Tokyo, and France. Delhi is the national capital of the country and it should be redesigned in such a way that we are proud of it,” he said.

“We have already given the contract of redesigning of 40 km of roads, and we will carry out further redesigning based on the same. The roads of Delhi are designed in such a way that a four-lane road transforms into a three-lane road after a few kilometres, creating a bottle-neck situation,” he said.

Kejriwal said the Delhi government is working on redesigning the roads so that they can be evened out and four-lane roads can be converted into three-lane and a footpath throughout the stretch.

He reiterated his promise to expand the ‘free bus rides for women’ scheme to include other categories if he is re-elected.

“A lot of work still has to be done in Delhi. Yamuna has to be cleaned, Delhi has to be cleaned, pollution needs to be controlled and transport needs to be improved,” he said.

“We had started about 300 Mohalla Clinics in Delhi and 150 Mohalla Clinics will be opened tomorrow,” said Kejriwal.

Expressing concern over increasing number of fire incidents in Delhi, he said action will be taken if a trend is found in fire incidents.

On being asked whether he believes that the Congress will provide 600 units of free electricity if elected in Delhi, Kejriwal said, “They must do it in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab or Puducherry first. If they even announce the free provision of electricity in these states before the elections in Delhi, people will regain trust in them.”

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Kejriwal alleged that the opposition is spreading rumours that “we (AAP) will discontinue the schemes after being re-elected, and several opposition parties are also saying that they will put an end to the free provision schemes if they form the government in Delhi.

“The schemes will continue if the people vote for us, but will end if the people vote for them. We will also extend the free bus rides scheme to students and elders. For last 70 years, people have been deceived by previous governments about lack of funds,” he said.

“This government has provided you with free amenities from taxes paid by you. Government has sufficient funds and stage-by-stage, the schemes will be extended to other sections as well,” he said.

The town-hall meetings are being held as part of AAP’s election campaign.

Polls are likely to be held in Delhi early this year.