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Arvind takes up statehood at 7RCR

Arvind takes up statehood at 7RCR
In fact, Kejriwal and his close aide Manish Sisodia, who is tipped to be his deputy in the Delhi Cabinet, were inside the Prime Ministerial residence at 7 Race Course Road, for all but, 17 minutes. The meeting was scheduled for 10.30 am and Kejriwal left his Kaushambi residence in the eastern suburb an hour early to be in time to meet Modi, with whom he had a bitter exchange of accusations during the just concluded polls. 

Keeping aside the bitterness of the election campaigns, the Prime Minister welcomed Kejriwal with a bouquet and had a little chat with him. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on its part extended the invitation to attend the swearing-in ceremony at the Ramlila Ground on Saturday, which the Prime Minister politely declined, citing pre-engagements. The short duration of the meeting indicates that the two leaders are still to develop a ‘chemistry’, given that Modi, a few days back, had spent close to an hour with beleaguered Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi.

Though both the sides have overtly indicated the desire to work in coordination, the sharp politician in Kejriwal did not miss the opportunity to put on the PM’s table their demand for full statehood of the national Capital.

“We discussed issues concerning Delhi over ‘chai pe charcha’. One of the issues included granting Delhi full statehood,” Sisodia told media persons.

He said that Modi has promised to ponder over the issue and assured the AAP leaders, full cooperation from the Centre to the Delhi government. There has been no statement from the PMO on the matter though they released the video clip of the meeting immediately after it was over.

Later, while speaking to media persons, party spokesperson Richa Mishra said, “We are here to run the government and seek help from all those who matter in running Delhi.” Unlike last time, when he cared little to meet the then central government functionaries, this time around, Kejriwal has met the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, whose ministries have a major say in the running of day-to-day affairs of the government. Delhi, being a union territory Centre has not transferred powers of land and law and order to the state government.

AAP will need the Centre’s help to fulfil election promises on housing and law and order.

Kejriwal, after the meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday, had twitted, “constructive and healthy relationship with the Centre”.  Talking to reporters, Sisodia said, “We had a good talk with the PM; told him that there is a full majority government at the Centre and in Delhi and this is a golden opportunity.” On plans for the swearing-in ceremony, Sisodia said, “We have not scheduled any announcement from Ramlila ground, except a song by the CM - Insan ka Insan se ho bhaichara.”

Sunil Thapliyal

Sunil Thapliyal

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