New Delhi, February 13 – Two days before taking oath as Delhi chief minister, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday had a warm meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and raised the issue of full statehood for Delhi.
Kejriwal, who is reaching out to the Modi-led central government after weeks of bitter election campaign, also invited the prime minister to his oath taking ceremony but the latter politely declined the request. The AAP leader was also accompanied by Manish Sisodia.
Details of the Modi-Kejriwal meeting:
On his way to 7 Race Course Road, Arvind Kejriwal picked up Manish Sisodia and most of the time during their journey to the PM’s residence, both of them discussed the issues they wanted to raise with Modi.
On reaching, both of them were taken by surprise to see the protocol officer at the PM’s residence, who was there to receive them, as it was not the first time they were meeting him.
After being reminded by the Protocol officer himself, Sisodia realised that he was the same man he had met at Gujarat CM residence when he, alongwith Kejriwal, has gone to meet Narendra Modi on April 8, 2014. At that time, only Sisodia was allowed inside the CM’s house to seek an appointment and it was there where he has met the Protocol Officer.
While waiting both saw a newspaper report about possible new Delhi govt Chief Secretary. Both Arvind and Manish laughed and expressed surprise on this report as even they had not discussed the issue yet. After waiting for few minutes, both were led to the meeting room where PM Modi was already waiting for them.
Modi greeted both of them and shook hands with both saying, ‘Aiye Arvind ji and Kaisey ho Manish?’ Followed by ‘Bohot Bohot badhai, aapko badhiya mandate mila hai, achcha kaam kijiyega,’ to which Kejriwal and Sisodia replied with a smile than thanked the PM.
The meeting room had two chairs with a small table in between them where the PM and Kejriwal sat. On Kejriwal’s side there was a long sofa on which Sisodia took his place.
Tea was served. On the table were a plate of biscuits and in another some sweets. Kejriwal started the conversation by inviting the PM for his oath ceremony. To which PM said he would have liked to come but had prior engagement and so would not be able to make it.
Sisodia and Kejriwal both picked biscuits along with the tea. The PM also had a cup of tea during the meeting that lasted total of 15 minutes. Kejriwal initiated the Delhi statehood issue. And then Sisodhia took over to explain. “Hum dono ko poorn bahumat mila hai, sheher kai bhagon mein banta hua hai…logon ki life banti hui hai…ye ek golden opportunity hai…we request you to consider full statehood issue.
Central govt ko national international issues sambhalne hote hain, aur hum Delhi sambhal sakte hain,” said Sisodia. PM heard Sisodia patiently and smiled. “Democracy mein kuch bhi permanent nahi hai…hum isper vichar karenge,” replied Modi.
Then Kejriwal aksed the PM about his experience in government so far, to which the PM replied, “humare bhi aapney compulsions hai, Rajya Sabha mein Kai bill pass nahi ho paa rahe…”
To which Sisodia said, “Sir ummeed hai aapko Rajya Sabha mein bhi bahumat mil hee jaega.” To which PM said, “Haan agar late hoga… char saal baad ho paega to bohot saare bade kaam aisey hai jo samay sey nahi ho paenge.”
Just before the end of the meeting, Kejriwal sought PM’s support in running the government, “Aapkey Sahyog ki zarurat hogi…” to which the PM responded in affirmation saying, “Hamara Sahyog rahega, subkamnaye.” After which both, Kejriwal and Sisodia got up and shook hands again with the PM before leaving the meeting room.
The PM stayed back and then sat down again, probably for another meeting. On the way back, Sisodia asked Kejriwal about the other engagements in the day, to which Kejriwal said he is not well and wanted to call off all engagements and simply rest.