AAP, BJP MLAs trade charges over ongoing sealing drive

AAP MLAs protest during the Assembly session in Delhi on Monday.

AAP MLAs protest during the Assembly session in Delhi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma


Despite Speaker’s pleas, MLAs continued shouting on Day 1 of Assembly session

Four adjournments in less than two hours marked Day 1 of the Delhi Assembly session that started on Monday as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the BJP blamed each other for the current and, possibly, future action faced by traders.

Referring to the ongoing sealing drive being carried out by the civic bodies, AAP MLAs stormed the Well of the House, shouting slogans and holding banners that said “BJP aayi, sealing laayi”. The BJP, on the other hand, accused the AAP government of delaying the notification of 351 roads as commercial or mixed land use, leaving the establishments there open to sealing in the future. Despite Speaker Ram Niwas Goel’s repeated pleas, the MLAs continued shouting, waving banners and jostling for space in front of Assembly Secretary Prasanna Kumar Suryadevara’s desk.

‘Notify 351 roads’

The BJP MLAs held posters asking the government to stop its “drama” and to notify the 351 roads immediately. The BJP MLAs said that the Municipal Corporation of Delhi had sent the proposal to the Delhi government in 2007, but it was yet to be notified.

The discussion on the sealing drive began after Mr. Goel ordered Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta and BJP MLA from Rajouri Garden Manjinder Singh Sirsa to be marshalled out of the House. The other two BJP MLAs — O. P. Sharma and Jagdish Pradhan — walked out as well.

“The BJP does not want to participate in the debate. They don’t have answers for both issues — the sealing and of the 351 roads. They have been making money from traders all this while,” said Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Kicking off the debate, Kasturba Nagar MLA Madan Lal said traders in his constituency, particularly in Defence Colony, from where the ongoing sealing drive started in December, were suffering. He said the shops had been allotted to Partition refugees, and the Land and Development Office had given the land to be used as shops or commercial space. However, the civic bodies have been collecting conversion charges, which is the amount to be paid when a residential space is converted to commercial, he said.

“The municipality has been extorting money from traders under the pretext of conversion charges,” he said.

With several AAP MLAs detailing the issues faced by traders, Mr. Goel suspended the discussion on Monday. He said the debate would be continued on Tuesday with the BJP MLAs in attendance. According to government sources, a resolution would be passed on Tuesday regarding the ongoing sealing drive.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 5:11:12 AM |

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