Staff Reporter

BJP, anti-social elements created situation leading to violence: Ram Babu Sharma

NEW DELHI: Expressing grief over the death of four persons in police firing during the Delhi bandh on Wednesday, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ram Babu Sharma on Thursday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party and some "anti-social elements supported by it" of creating the situation resulting in violence during the agitation.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Sharma assured the Capital's traders and the agitating citizens that the Congress was with them in this hour of crisis and everything possible would be done to provide them relief from the current phase of demolitions and sealing.

Welcoming the statement of Union Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy that if need be a special session of Parliament would be convened to sort out the issue, Mr. Sharma said it was unfortunate that the BJP was trying to derive political mileage out of this.

"What is even more shocking is that despite being in power for six years, the NDA regime did nothing to sort out the issues facing the people of Delhi. In fact, the NDA is responsible for creating such a situation and leading the people of Delhi to such a phase of uncertainty. Had they taken corrective steps during their rule, things would have been different."

Lashing out at the BJP, Mr. Sharma said the party was adopting a contradictory stand as its former Union Urban Development Minister Jagmohan was backing the sealing and demolitions while the party was making different noises. "If the BJP is really sincere about getting relief for the traders, then it should first take action against Mr. Jagmohan for speaking against them."

Stating it was the Congress that had done its best to provide relief to the people, Mr. Sharma said the Union Urban Development Ministry had brought out two notifications and legislation on the issue but they were under judicial scrutiny hampering the process of implementation.

At the same time, Mr. Sharma assured that all the recommendations of the Tejinder Khanna Committee would be implemented and relief would certainly flow to all sections of society. He also pointed out that the latest notification of the Union Urban Development Ministry giving relief to residential plotted development would benefit the lower strata of the society as well as the middle class.

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP president Harsh Vardhan demanded that the Master Plan for Delhi-2021 be brought out immediately and implemented without any further delay so that lakhs of people are provided relief.

In a statement, Dr. Vardhan charged Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit with promoting the shopping mall culture by maintaining during the last few months that sealing and demolitions were fine and taking place under the orders of the court. He said an amnesty plan should be formulated and placed before Parliament so that it is passed with the consent of all the parties.