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AAP to stress its 'great work' in Delhi during LS campaign


IANS New Delhi
The Aam Aadmi Party will stress on its "great work" and reiterate its demand for full statehood for Delhi during its campaign for the 2019 general elections that would comprise 280 rallies and 3,000 gatherings, a minister has said.
"We have done great work in the sectors of health, education, farming, electricity, and water. Doorstep delivery of services, pension to old and widows, and minimum wages for the labourers have also been of great help to the people," Delhi's Labour Minister Gopal Rai, told IANS.
"Our narrative is that the people gave us a chance to work in Delhi, we did our best in the given situation and power. We could have done a lot more. But because Delhi is not a full state, we lagged behind so much in terms of what we could have done. We want to work more for the city and its people," Rai added.
"After paying taxes close to Rs 1.5 lakh crore, Delhi only gets Rs 325 crore from the Centre. Other states have their fixed share of the tax they pay, Delhi still depends on the Centre's wish for the money. If given full statehood, the Centre will have to give us more money. Issues like women's safety, unemployment, and land crisis can also be solved through statehood. It is also for sure that the pace of work wil increase," he said.
Attacking the BJP for not fulfilling its promises, he said the ruling party at the Centre had promised full statehood to Delhi but none of its seven MPs raised the issue in Parliament.
"The fight for full statehood has passed from the Delhi Assembly to Parliament. The full statehood movement needs to reach Parliament and our (likeminded) MPs will take up the issue there," Rai said.
"We are in touch with the leaders of the Grand Alliance. They will support us in Parliament (for the full statehood demand). The possibility of full statehood will be very high if the next government is formed by the Grand Alliance," Rai added.
Speaking about AAP's election campaign, Rai said this had been divided into two phases.
"The campaign is divided into two phases and a total of 280 rallies will be held across the city. Of these 280 rallies, 108 will be held in the first phase, which started on March 23 and will continue till April 7.
"The second phase of the campaign will be launched on April 8 and will end on April 30. In all, (AAP chief) Arvind Kejriwal will hold one rally each in the 70 Assembly constituencies of Delhi. In the first phase, he will address 35 rallies - one in each Assembly constituency, and in the second he will hold rallies in 35 remaining constituencies," Rai added.
Although Kejriwal will be at the centre of the campaign, other AAP leaders will also hold rallies in the national capital.
"In the first phase, I will hold 30 rallies, Sanjay Singh will hold 26 rallies and Manish Sisodia will have 17 rallies."
This apart, Rai said the MLAs will also campaign in their constituencies through rallies and gatherings.
"In the (three) constituencies where there are no AAP MLAs, the party has tasked the area's party president to organise rallies and gatherings."
"Senior leaders of the Grand Alliance, including (Trinamool Congress chief) Mamata Banerjee and (Telugu Desam Party chief) N. Chandrababu Naidu will join us for the campaign. However, they will first take care of the campaigns for their parties in their areas," Rai added.
AAP leaders will also go to other states for the campaign, he said, adding that the party will keep its focus on Delhi.
(Nivedita Singh can be contacted at

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First Published: Mar 31 2019 | 2:18 PM IST

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