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In letter from custody, Kejriwal says INDIA supports statehood for Delhi | Latest News Delhi

The wife of jailed Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Sunita Kejriwal, read out a letter from him that made six guarantees to the people of the country, including full statehood for the people of the Capital. Kejriwal was arrested on March 21 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the probe related to the Delhi excise policy case.

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and Sunita Kejriwal at Ramlila Maidan on Sunday. (Sanjeev Verma/HT photo)

In her first speech at a political rally, Sunita Kejriwal said that Kejriwal is fighting for the motherland. “Your Arvind Kejriwal is a lion, they will not be able to keep him in jail for long. He lives in the hearts of crores of people because of the bravery and courage with which he is fighting for the country… I feel that in the freedom struggle, he was a freedom fighter who was martyred while fighting for the country,” Sunita Kejriwal added.

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His letter from ED custody said that if people chose the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc in the upcoming elections, six guarantees will be fulfilled — nationwide 24-hour electricity supply and no power cuts, free electricity for the poor across the country, good quality government schools in every village and locality, mohalla clinic in every locality, minimum support price (MSP) to be paid to farmers as per Swaminathan committee report and full statehood for Delhi.

However, Sunita Kejriwal added that Arvind Kejriwal sought forgiveness from all the partners of the INDIA alliance as he made the announcements without discussing with them.

“Today, I seek apology from all INDIA alliance partners because I did not seek their permission before making these announcements. It was impossible to seek their agreement or permission since I’m in jail. I hope that nobody will have any objections to these announcements. We will fulfil these six guarantees within the next five years. We have planned everything on where we will get the funds for this,” read the letter from Kejriwal.

Addressing thousands of supporters of the INDIA bloc who assembled at the venue, Sunita Kejriwal asked the gathering if the CM’s arrest was right and whether he should resign as the opposition is demanding.

“My dear Indians, please accept the greetings of your son, your brother from jail. I am not asking for your votes today. I am not even asking you to defeat or make anyone win in the coming elections. Today, I seek the cooperation of 140 crore people of the country to build a bigger India. I invite 140 crore Indians to build a new India,” she quoted Arvind Kejriwal as she continued to read his letter.

She added that Kejriwal wrote about the pain that “Mother India” suffers when people do not get two square meals a day due to inflation, or when they do not get good education or quality healthcare.

Reading out the six guarantees, she said, “First, we will ensure that the country gets 24×7 power supply, there will be no power cuts. Second, we will make electricity absolutely free for the poor sections of the society. Third, we will make magnificent government schools in every village and locality. Now every child, whether rich or poor, will receive the same quality of education. Fourth, we will make mohalla clinics in every village and locality. There will be multi-speciality government hospitals in every district. We will make proper arrangements for top quality free treatment available for every citizen of the county. Fifth, the farmers will be given proper MSP on all crops according to the Swaminathan Report, we will ensure that the farmers get the right price for their crops.”

The last guarantee pertained to the contentious issue of full statehood for Delhi that every political party has batted for at some point of time during the last few years.

“The people of Delhi have endured injustice for over 75 years, as Delhi residents here have less rights as compared to the other states. Their elected government is paralysed. We will end this injustice and Delhiites will get their rights. We will ensure that Delhi gets the status of a state,” Kejriwal said in his letter.

In August last year, Kejriwal said that the 2024 general election will be fought on the “issue of full statehood for Delhi”, adding that BJP would lose all seven seats. Kejriwal made the comment while speaking at an assembly discussion on the GNCTD (Amendment) Act, 2023, which gives the Centre control over the transfer and posting of bureaucrats in the city. He added that the services Act had “trampled upon the democratic rights of Delhi’s people”.

On August 7, the Parliament passed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, and it became a law on August 12 after assent from the President.

Earlier, several leaders of different political parties have raised the demand of full statehood from time to time.

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