RTI reveals Delhi government or Arvind Kejriwal hasn’t written a single letter on statehood demand

NEW DELHI: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal might be taking on the Modi government demanding full statehood for Delhi but he has not written a single letter to the Centre putting his demand on record.

Information accessed under Right to Information (RTI) Act reveals that Delhi government has not written to the Centre demanding statehood for Delhi. Applications filed under RTI Act by activist Dev Ashish Bhattacharya have revealed that not a single letter has been sent to the home ministry, the nodal ministry for law and order and statehood issue for Delhi.

Bhattacharya had filed an RTI application in September seeking copies of letters written by Delhi government demanding full statehood, certified copies of file notings and action taken by the home ministry on the demand.

As the ministry did not respond to his application, he filed a first appeal and the appellate authority directed the public information officer (PIO) to give requisite information. Bhattacharya was told, “No such letter/ request/ proposal has been received.”

A similar response was given by CPIO (Centre-state section) Ashutosh Jain, dated January 24 which stated that “information sought by you is not available with the undersigned.”

The issue had fuelled a political face-off in Delhi as Kejriwal had proposed a Greece-style referendum in Delhi and Congress had questioned where would the finances for Delhi come if it is granted full statehood.

Bhattacharya questioned the motive of the government saying, “Why haven’t any letters been written to the ministry where it matters? This raises serious questions on the government’s intentions. It clearly means that the Centre and Delhi would be engaged in a tug-of-war and the people would keep suffering.”