The Weekend Leader - No mention of statehood, BJP promises world-class Delhi

No mention of statehood, BJP promises world-class Delhi

New Delhi


The BJP Tuesday kept mum on the issue of providing full statehood to Delhi, but promised to make the capital a "world class" city with "utmost transparency" and a leadership of "unimpeachable integrity" if it was voted to power.

Releasing a vision document ahead of the Feb 7 assembly polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also pledged zero tolerance vis-a-vis corruption, fiscal prudence, "fullest accountability" and "maximum measurability".

The document, which takes the place of an election manifesto, was framed by a team led by party leader and union minister Harsh Vardhan, who was the BJP's chief ministerial candidate in the December 2013 election.

The BJP also vowed to address fundamental issues like power, water, healthcare and the transport system in the capital.

"If we want to make Delhi a smart and a world class city, we have to address the basic issues like electricity, water and transport," BJP's Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay told the media here.

"We have promised one lakh houses for the middle class," he said. "This election will decide which path the capital will choose."

But unlike in the 2013 manifesto, there was no mention in the document for the long-standing demand for statehood for Delhi.

In the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had promised to grant full statehood to Delhi after coming to power while BJP in-charge of Delhi, Prabhat Jha too had reiterated the same last month.

Delhi became a state in 1992 under the system of diarchy where the elected government is given wide powers, except law and order, which remains with the central government.

However, the vision document instead talks about "completely revamping" the existing infrastructure in Delhi through various steps like interconnecting the Delhi Metro, the city bus service, Metro feeder buses and providing smart cards for all public transport.

Constructing inter-city and inter-state world-class bus depots and equipping all public transport with GPS and closed-circuit cameras were also mentioned.

Stating that each issue in the document was "equally important", the BJP's chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi said it covered 35 areas as well as over 270 points concerning every resident of Delhi.

"It covers many areas and includes cleaning the Yamuna river, housing for the poor, power, development of villages, education, justice to victims of 1984 riots, protection of northeastern immigrants, law and order and art and culture," Bedi said.

Jha assured that all promises made in the document would be fulfilled.

The party said the deliverables would be achieved by "detailed and thorough analyses of all available resources", "expert advisory councils on matters of strategic importance", "regular field visits" and "complete alignment with the government of India", among others.

On the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the chief minister would give a monthly radio address -- "Dil ki Baat" -- to apprise people of the progress of various programmes. - IANS