Debating India


Advani promises Delhi statehood Bill

Sunday 10 August 2003

Article paru dans le Times of India, ?dition du 10 ao?t 2003.

NEW DELHI: Kicking off the BJP’s campaign for the Delhi Assembly elections slated for later this year, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani announced on Sunday that the government would introduce a Bill to grant statehood to the national capital in the current session of Parliament.

He also justified the recently-issued controversial Delhi Master Plan guidelines.

Making it clear that Madan Lal Khurana was the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, while addressing the party’s ``parivartan rally’’, the Deputy PM praised him for changing the ``shape’’ of Delhi and urged the people to make him the next CM.

Though the BJP’s rally came a day after the Congress party’s ``August Kranti rally’’, at which Congress president Sonia Gandhi had attacked the NDA government at the Centre, Advani desisted from attacking the opposition party.

Instead, he left it to senior party leader V K Malhotra to do the needful. Malhotra said: ``It is unfortunate that the Congress passed a resolution to make a foreigner its leader on August 9, the day the party had launched the Quit India movement against foreign rule.’’

Malhotra also took on the Congress, saying if the Central Vigilance Commission’s report, covering the period 1989-99 was publicised, it would ``expose the corrupt deals of the Congress’’.

In his speech, Advani maintained that Delhi should get statehood and stressed that the home ministry had already drafted the Bill. He said it would be part of the BJP’s manifesto.

The Deputy PM’s announcement comes in the wake of the politicking over the statehood issue, with chief minister Sheila Dikshit even alleging that the Union government was delaying its introduction while Khurana has been saying it would be brought in the current session.

Referring to the controversial guidelines for the Delhi Master Plan, Advani said its objective was to bring ``happiness and prosperity’’ for the capital’s citizens. ``Delhi needs to be clean and beautiful...But Delhiites also have to be happy and prosperous. This was kept in view while framing the guidelines.’’

Moving from Delhi to the country, he said the Vajpayee government wanted to transform India by interlinking rivers, constructing highways and developing information technology. The object was to make India a developed country by 2020, he said.

Emphasising that Delhi should attain the foremost place in the country, he referred to Hyderabad, saying it had been transformed with Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu proudly proclaiming it was the health and IT capital of India.

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