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If Delhi gets full statehood it will become as bad as UP, Bihar: Ajay Maken

NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader and party candidate from the New Delhi constituency, Ajay Maken, says full statehood will be a disaster for the national capital and the law and order in the city will become "as bad as Uttar Pradesh or Bihar". Maken said Delhi being the national capital is "fully" funded by the Union government and that the tax burden on its people will increase if it becomes a state. "The salary of the Delhi Police alone is Rs 8,000 crore per year. The Union government spends more than Rs 3,000 crore a year on five-six super specialty hospitals in the city. The local administration doesn't have to pay a single penny," said Maken.

Petrol prices in Delhi are the lowest as compared to all other metros in the country because the central government bears most of the cost of fuel subsidy, he said. "Why should the people of Delhi pay more tax just because Arvind Kejriwal wants more power?" the Congress leader asked.

"It will be a disaster for Delhi. The city will become as bad as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh or any other state. Do you think Ghaziabad, Noida, Gurgaon and Begusarai are better than Delhi in terms of law and order?" he said.

Maken, who has represented the New Delhi seat twice, also claimed there's massive discontent among government employees over the seventh pay commission recommendations. "The seventh pay commission says there will be no pay commission in the future. The government has accepted this recommendation. What can be worse than this?" he asked.

"The first thing we will do is we will remove this recommendation and ensure that the eight pay commission is set up in time," he said. The fifth and the sixth pay commissions recommended a 40 percent hike in salary. The seventh pay commission gave a meager 14 per cent hike, Maken said. He said the seventh pay commission also recommended abolishing 36 interest-free advances, like festival and vehicle advance, given to government employees. "Some of these advances were restored by the government, but others were not. We will bring them back," the Congress leader added.

On his BJP rival Meenakshi Lekhi's allegation that his 'shoddy' work as Union urban development minister is responsible for the sealing chaos in Delhi, Maken said he had brought in a legislation to stop sealing within a week in May 2006.

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