New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be able to attend Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor and Delhi chief minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal’s oath taking ceremony on Saturday, party leader Manish Sisodia said on Thursday after a meeting with the PM.
The meeting which took place at the Prime Minister’s 7 Race Course Road residence lasted half an hour and was described as cordial.
“Unfortunately PM Modi will not be able to attend Arvind ji’s oath taking ceremony,” Sisodia, who accompanied Kejriwal, told reporters after the meeting with Modi.
Kejriwal extended an invitation to Modi for the ceremony but the PM is scheduled to travel to Maharashtra to inaugurate the new Krishi Vigyan Kendra building in Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar’s stronghold of Baramati on Saturday.
“We had a good talk with the PM and told him there is a full majority government at the Centre and in Delhi and this is a golden opportunity. It is an opportune time to grant full statehood to Delhi,” said Sisodia.
He said the PM assured them that the Centre will think on the issue of giving full statehood to Delhi.
Kejriwal’s meeting with the PM comes a day after he met Union home minister Rajnath Singh and urban affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu and sought full statehood for Delhi.
Speaking to home minister Singh, Kejriwal also underlined the need for “constructive cooperation” between the central and the Delhi governments and noted that political differences should not come in the way of taking the city forward.
Kejriwal will also invite his one-time colleague and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, who was the BJP’s CM candidate in the Delhi polls. Bedi too had congratulated Kejriwal asking him to make Delhi a world-class city.
The AAP won 67 seats in the 70-member Delhi House on Tuesday, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed a distant second place with merely three seats. The Congress, reeling from a string of defeats since it was routed in the Lok Sabha polls, did not even open its account.
In the run-up to the Delhi polls, the battle for the city-state saw a fierce war of words between the PM, and Kejriwal, who lost to Modi in Varanasi in the April-May general elections.
But, Modi congratulated Kejriwal after the AAP’s poll triumph and promised him Centre’s co-operation in the development of Delhi.