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New Delhi: Nitish pitches for Delhi's full statehood, prohibition

New Delhi: Nitish pitches for Delhi
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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday batted for full statehood for Delhi and prohibition in the city as his party Janata Dal (United) geared ...

New Delhi (PTI): Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday batted for full statehood for Delhi and prohibition in the city as his party Janata Dal (United) geared up for contesting the assembly polls here due early next year.

Addressing workers of the BJP ally JD(U), Kumar also reiterated his demand for special status for Bihar, which the Modi government had earlier rejected. "We have always been in favour of full statehood for Delhi. Like we want special status for Bihar, we have always wanted statehood for Delhi," the JD(U) president said.

He also demanded that prohibition be implemented in Delhi as his government had done so in Bihar. "Prohibition is a very important thing and it should be implemented in the entire country. Why should it not be implemented in Delhi? Alcohol is such a bad thing that we banned it (sale and consumption) in 2016. We implemented prohibition on the request of women. There has been a decline in domestic fight and law and order has also improved," he said.

Kumar took a swipe at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his comments that people from Bihar buy Rs 500 tickets to reach Delhi and avail medical treatment here worth Rs 5 lakh for free. "Delhi's hospitals are for everyone. Why was Bihar's name taken? If anyone comes from anywhere, be it UP, Haryana, or Bihar for treatment to Delhi, they belong to Delhi only," Kumar said.

Kejriwal had later clarified that he only highlighted health facilities offered by his government and did not mean to target anybody. Kumar also spoke how his government does not believe in publicising about its achievements. "There are many people who work less but seek publicity. We are not those who do that. Bihar sees the least number of advertisements of government. "We do not publicise our achievements. We believe in serving people and that is what we follow in Bihar," he added. He left it to the Delhi unit of the party to decide as to how many seats the JD(U) will contest in the assembly polls.

The JD(U)'s alliance with the BJP has remained confined to Bihar and it has been fighting polls on its own outside the state. The party is eyeing migrant voters from Poorvanchal and Bihar to make an impact in the city where the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, BJP and the Congress are key contenders. If people from Bihar stop working even for a day, Delhi will come to a standstill, Kumar said. "Delhi is the national capital and it belongs to the entire country. People from various other cities reside here. People from Bihar reside here in large numbers and they have a huge role to play here. Earlier, they were made fun of but now they say with pride that they are from Bihar," he said.

Kumar urged his party workers to talk to people about how development work has been undertaken in Bihar and how the state has progressed under his government. "We have improved law and order situation in Bihar and brought peace and harmony in the state. We have worked for women's empowerment in Bihar," he told party workers.

On a day when the Union cabinet approved a proposal to grant ownership rights to people living in unauthorised colonies in Delhi, Kumar urged party workers to start a campaign for regularisation of unauthorised colonies. He also talked about launching a campaign for clean drinking water for Delhiites, just like his government is running a campaign 'Har Ghar Nal Ka Jal in Bihar. "Delhi Jal Board comes under the CM here. It should be ensured that everyone gets water. We have to start a campaign for it," he said.

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