The AAP leader also threatened to go on a hunger strike if the issue was not resolved by March 31.
New Delhi: A day after threatening to go on a hunger strike if the sealing issue was not resolved by the end of March, the Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Saturday (March 10), seeking an appointment to end the conflict over the on-going ceiling drive in the national capital.
In his letter to the prime minister, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader stressed on the need to bring a Bill in parliament to remove anomalies in the law which he believes are the reasons behind the prevent exercise of sealing commercial establishments. Kejriwal warned that unemployment caused by the ceiling spree could impact the law and order situation in the city.
“The reason behind sealing is anomalies in the law. It is the responsibility of the Central government to remove these anomalies,” the chief minister said.
CM has also requested for a meeting with the PM to discuss this ‘very serious’ issue. pic.twitter.com/hll9KdeTfc
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) March 10, 2018
Condemning the hardships the ceiling has imposed on traders, Kejriwal said, “The traders are on the verge of starvation and each shop is means of livelihood for many people. If all of them are rendered unemployed [due to sealing] then it may impact law and order situation.”
Urging the Congress president to rise “above politics” and reiterating that the sealing of commercial establishments was rendering lakhs of people unemployed, Kejriwal in his letter to Gandhi stated that the “issue needs to be strongly raised in Parliament and pressure should be exerted on the Centre to bring a Bill over it.”
— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) March 10, 2018
The sealing drive was undertaken by the municipal corporations of the national capital on the directions of a Supreme Court-appointed committee in December 2017.
Under the drive, hundreds of commercial establishments have been sealed so far due to non-payment of conversion charges and violations of the Delhi Master Plan.
According to an Indian Express report, the sealing drive made its way to south Delhi’s Amar Colony market on Thursday (March 8) where about 400 of the 700-plus shops were closed down by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation with traders alleging lathi charge by police.
This prompted the Delhi chief minister to threaten launching a hunger strike and urge parties across the political spectrum to “unite and pressure the Centre” to bring an “ordinance” to stop the ongoing sealing drive.
While the AAP blamed the BJP over the ongoing sealing drive, the Delhi CM maintained that the issue wasn’t limited to one party, Indian Express reported.
“If there is no solution to the sealing drive by March 31, I will sit on hunger strike. We will put pressure on the Centre together,” the chief minister told the Amar Colony traders on Friday.
“Isme saare pis rahe hai (everyone is in affected) – traders associated with BJP, Congress as well as AAP. This is not a situation where those coming to seal are saying: ‘let’s leave the people of these parties alone’. This is not an issue of one party…today if MPs of the three parties get together and shut [the proceedings] of the parliament for two days, then I think the sealing drive will end in 24 hours,” he said.
The Delhi assembly will pass a resolution over the issue in its budget session, slated to begin from March 16, and send it to the Centre for bringing the ordinance, he said, adding AAP MPs would hold consultations with parliamentarians of other parties to raise the issue in both the houses of parliament.
Political analysts believe that Kejriwal’s support to traders could help him to consolidate his party’s position in Delhi, besides driving a wedge between BJP and its traditional constituency of traders. Currently, the AAP is among the strongest political critics of the BJP.
(With PTI inputs)
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