Only parliament can pass Delhi statehood bill: BJP

New Delhi: On a day Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made public a draft bill on statehood for Delhi minus certain areas, the BJP said on Wednesday that only parliament was empowered to prepare and pass the law in the matter as per the Indian constitution. Earlier, Kejriwal had sought full statehood for Delhi, except for small areas coming under the jurisdiction of the New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi Cantonment Board. Kejriwal had also sought public comments by June 30 to take the process forward.  "The course adopted by the Delhi government to pass the bill in the assembly is unconstitutional and undemocratic and dramatic in nature. It seeks to adopt a confrontation with the Centre," leader of opposition in the assembly and BJP leader Vijendra Gupta said in a statement here. "The Delhi assembly is not empowered to prepare and adopt the bill as it is a constitutional bill. This proposal is mischievous and unacceptable," he added. He said Delhi government's proposal bifurcates Delhi into two parts and will deprive two crore Delhites of the proud privilege of living in the national capital. "The present non-NDMC area will be the state of Delhi without the tag of a capital city. It will be just like any other state of India. Thus, nearly two crore Delhi residents will be deprived of the proud privilege of living in the capital of India," the BJP leader said. "It is not following the laid down procedures and we can foresee the fate of the bill," he added.