‘Movement is the only way out’: Arvind Kejriwal to sit on fast from March 1 for Delhi statehood

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced on Saturday that he start an indefinite hunger strike beginning March 1 to demand complete statehood for the national capital.

Kejriwal, the chief of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), made the announcement in the Delhi Legislative Assembly.

“From March 1, I will begin a hunger strike. I am going to fast till we get statehood. I am ready to face death,” the Aam Aadmi Party chief said in the state Assembly.

“Andolan (a movement) is the only way out of this crisis. The people of Delhi have to come on the streets to fight for full statehood,” he added.

The chief minister’s decision came a day after he said that his party will ensure full statehood status for Delhi within two years if AAP wins all seven seats. “If the Aam Aadmi Party wins all seven seats in Delhi, we will ensure full statehood to Delhi within two years,” Kejriwal had told a public rally in the national capital.

Kejriwal also targetted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying, “The Prime Minister is unable to handle national issues, why is he bothered about the state municipal corporation and Delhi Police. He should worry about national issues. Let us handle Delhi.”

He added, “Why is democracy being denied to the people of Delhi? The elected government of Delhi has no powers to work efficiently for the people of Delhi.”

The chief minister claimed the people of Delhi were facing “injustice and humiliation” since independence because the government elected by them lacked power to work for them.

“The elected government of Delhi cannot give people justice, work for them and take up development works because it lacks power and the central government obstructs its functioning. Is the value of Delhi voters less than other states?” he asked.

The AAP leader’s remarks came in the wake of a split-judgment by the Supreme Court on regulations of services in the national capital pertaining to the power tussle between the Delhi government and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.

A two-judge bench consisting of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice AK Sikri disagreed on the jurisdiction of Centre and Delhi government over appointment and transfer of bureaucrats in Delhi but ruled unanimously that the Anti-Corruption Bureau will remain under the Centre’s control. A larger bench will now take a call on who will have the final say on the transfer and appointment of bureaucrats in Delhi.