Staff Reporter

Manmohan assures them that he will look into their demands

  • Prime Minister urged to put an end to the sealing drive
  • `Section 41A of the MCD Act should be amended'

    NEW DELHI: Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani on Thursday led a delegation of party leaders and traders to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought his intervention for resolving the sealing issue. The delegation also called for necessary legislative measures to provide relief to lakhs of people facing displacement due to the ongoing sealing drive in the Capital.

    Mr. Advani was accompanied by the party general secretary Arun Jaitely, the party spokesman and South Delhi MP Vijay Kumar Malhotra, the Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Jagdish Mukhi, and the Confederation of Association of Indian Traders general secretary Praveen Khandelwal.

    It is understood that Mr. Advani impressed upon the Prime Minister to put an end to the sealing drive and sought introduction of an amnesty scheme as proposed by the Malhotra Committee to provide relief to the traders and affected people.

    Amnesty

    Stating that nothing short of an amnesty scheme would solve the problem, Mr. Advani is learnt to have informed Dr. Singh that the same should be approved by the Parliament to give it more teeth.

    Similarly, Mr. Advani suggested that as proposed by the Delhi BJP, section 41A of the MCD Act should be amended to take away the sealing power from the civic agency in order to end the current phase of sealing. Mr. Advani is learnt to have assured the Prime Minister that his party would extend all support in Parliament to the Government if it came up with a legislative solution to the present problem.

    Stating that traders of Delhi were facing an unprecedented situation that required an equally bold initiative to resolve the mess, Mr. Advani said displacement of lakhs of people was not the right solution to the problem as lakhs of labourers, who were working in these establishments were also faced with the prospects of unemployment.

    The delegation also demanded that all illegalities up to February 2006 should be regularised without any further delay as the situation on the ground was getting worse and matters could aggravate in the days to come.

    Dr. Singh is learnt to have assured the delegation that he would look into their demands sympathetically and try and find a solution to the problem.

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