AAP foremost in fighting with Centre for demands: Kejriwal

Panaji: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said the AAP, a serious contender in next year’s Goa assembly polls, will “fight” with the Centre over the issue of special status for Goa, and added that his party was “the best” when it comes to fighting with the Narendra Modi-led government over demands.

The Aam Aadmi Party co-founder, who is in the coastal state on a three-day campaign visit, said: “If the BJP wanted to do it (award special status to Goa), then they would have done it by now, because they are in government in both places. What is stopping them? If they are not doing it, then we will have to fight for it. And we are at the foremost when it comes to this kind of a fight. The whole country knows that we are the best when it comes to fighting against the Centre.”

He said this while interacting with women’s groups at the ‘Goa Dialogues’ meet in Margao, 35 km from Panaji.

The AAP government in Delhi has been locked in a series of confrontations with the Central government and its representative the Lieutenant Governor over several administrative issues.

For the last few years, the demand for special status for Goa has been doing the rounds in the political and social circles in the State, which has been facing challenges stemming from rapid in-migration, shrinking land resources and a resultant dilution of identity.

The issue of special status had been raised by all the major political parties in Goa, including the BJP and the Congress, in the run up to the 2012 state assembly poll.

The BJP-led coalition government which was subsequently voted to power, was instrumental in moving a unanimous resolution in the state legislative assembly demanding special status for Goa under Article 371 of the Indian constitution.

Last year however, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said that seeking special status for Goa was like “running after a mirage”. Top BJP national leaders have also rejected the possibility of Goa being granted special status through a constitutional amendment.