Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal Wednesday said the national capital is not the property of any individual or party and the people of Delhi would decide if it is granted full statehood, as he raised the pitch for one of his party's key demands.
Claiming that people of Delhi have been exploited and cheated for the past 70 years, Kejriwal said city BJP president Manoj Tiwari says the national capital cannot be given full statehood as its chief minister protested in front of the Rail Bhawan.
"Tiwari says Delhi cannot be granted statehood as I had sat on a dharna. Tumhare baap ki Dilli hai (Is Delhi your family property?) Who are you?" Kejriwal said referring to Tiwari.
"I want to ask Manoj Tiwari and the BJP that when Mamata Banerjee protested in West Bengal was West Bengal made half state, when Narendra Modi protested in Gujarat over the Narmada issue, was Gujarat was made a half state, when Chandrababu Naidu protested to give Andhra Pradesh special status was it made a half state. In Bihar, Nitish Kumar protested, so should it be made a half state too?" he asked.
"Our freedom fighters fought for democracy, not Tiwari's or Modi's fathers," Kejriwal said.
He said Delhi is not the property of any individual or party to decide whether it would be given full statehood or not. "It is the people of Delhi who would decide if it would be granted full statehood or not."
He urged Delhiites to join his movement for complete statehood.
"The people in Delhi are ready for making sacrifices, without sacrifice and struggle Delhi could not be made a full state. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised the people in Delhi that they would be given full statehood if they get all seven seats," he claimed.
Asserting that the upcoming polls will be fought on the issue of full statehood, Kejriwal criticised Modi for not fulfilling this promise as mentioned in BJP's 2014 manifesto. "It amounts to cheating. They (the BJP) should come clean."
The ongoing general elections are also a part of the mass movement for full statehood for Delhi, he said.
The BJP had no intention of giving Delhi full statehood, the CM said, adding that his party plans to go full throttle over this issue in coming days.
Kejriwal also referred to the sealing of shops earlier this year and said, the party would have halted the process within five minutes.
"We would have (also) regularised contractual employees," he said.
The AAP has declared candidates for six of the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi.
The party launched its mega poll campaign, centred around full statehood for Delhi, on Sunday.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)