BJP stages ‘chakka jam’; roads blocked, buses vandalized

NEW DELHI , 03/01/2022: A view of massive traffic jam at ring road due to BJPs Chakka Jam on Delhi Governments liqour policy, in New delhi on Monday. Photo: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA / The Hindu

NEW DELHI , 03/01/2022: A view of massive traffic jam at ring road due to BJPs Chakka Jam on Delhi Governments liqour policy, in New delhi on Monday. Photo: SUSHIL KUMAR VERMA / The Hindu

The BJP on Monday staged demonstrations at over a dozen locations in the Capital demanding a rollback of the new excise policy implemented by the Delhi Government.

Protests at central locations such as Akshardham and Laxmi Nagar triggered long traffic jams as people dressed in party regalia and bearing its flag forced public buses to stop and deflated their tyres rendering arterial routes useless for vehicular traffic. Demonstrations by the party were held at 15 locations in the city.

According to the Delhi government, as many as 86 public buses were targeted during the demonstrations across the city. Of these, 39 were DTC buses and 47 were cluster buses.

At the end of the day, the BJP sought to distance itself from those who caused damage to public buses and property even as the events of the day snowballed into a political slugfest between the AAP, BJP as well as the Congress.

Delhi BJP General Secretary Harsh Malhotra said several RWAs and traders’ associations too joined BJP workers making it a mass agitation.

“Taking advantage, some mischievous elements too joined and indulged in vandalism. BJP's purpose behind Chakka Jam was pious — to highlight the adverse repercussions of the new liquor policy. Yet, if people have faced problems due to Chakka Jam, we regret,” Mr. Malhotra said.

Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said the Delhi government, through its new excise policy, seemed to be adamant about making Delhi a city of liquor, which it could not tolerate and would continue to protest till it is revoked.

“The party has been relentlessly protesting the new excise policy and all the three corporations under the BJP have decided to immediately seal those liquor shops that have come up or are coming up in violation of Master Plan or the municipal laws or are in close vicinity of an educational institution or religious places,” Mr. Gupta added.

No inconvenience caused: BJP

Responding to the notion of inconvenience caused to commuters and movement of emergency vehicles after the Delhi BJP unit’s ‘Chakka Jam’ on Monday, Mayors of the South and East civic bodies said that “no inconvenience” was caused and further emphasised that the “Chakka Jam was successful.”

“The liquor vends that were sealed had violated building-bylaw norms in most cases. Emergency vehicles were not causing inconvenience in their movement, our volunteers had instead assisted such vehicles which were stuck amid the traffic jam. Our goal is to get rid of this liquor menace and today’s Chakka Jam was a step in the right direction to help stop it,” East Delhi Mayor, Shyam Sunder Aggarwal, said.

Mr. Aggarwal said that to date, notices have been issued to 70 liquor vends while eight have been sealed in areas under the EDMC’s jurisdiction. According to South Delhi Mayor Mukesh Suryan, notices have been issued to 28 liquor vends while six have been sealed in areas under the SDMC’s jurisdiction.

“The people of Delhi have joined us in this struggle against the liquor vends because that is what they want. Close to 13 liquor vend owners under the SDMC’s jurisdiction have also refrained from opening their vends. There was no disruption or inconvenience caused to the public or emergency vehicles during the Chakka Jam,” said Mr. Suryan.

‘Pre-poll gimmick’

East civic body’s Leader of Opposition, AAP’s Manoj Tyagi, said that the ‘Chakka Jam’ was a “complete failure”, and further dismissed it as a “pre-poll gimmick” by the BJP’s Delhi unit.

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused the BJP of having “deep ties with the liquor mafia in Delhi.”

“The new excise policy of the Kejriwal government stopped revenue theft of over ₹3,500 crore. Both BJP and liquor mafia were immersed in this loot. The BJP is surely feeling pain because their theft has been plugged,” Mr. Sisodia said.

“BJP has been completely jolted by the new excise policy. The BJP is upset with our ban on theft that it is troubling the public. DTC buses bought with people's taxes are being vandalized, BJP workers are puncturing their tyres. This shows the anti-people mentality of BJP,” he also said.

Tiwari takes a jab

North-east Delhi MP Manoj Tiwari said at last, the AAP Delhi Government had admitted that it was “indulging in an annual theft of ₹3000-4000 crore” because maximum liquor was sold through the Government’ DSIIDC shops.

“In such a case, Kejriwal should tell us where the amount of ₹24,500 crore collected in the name of revenue in the past seven years has gone. The Kejriwal Government is misusing the hard-earned tax money of Delhiites on polls and publicity is now indulging in crores of rupees worth of corruption in liquor sale too,” Mr. Tiwari said.

BJP’s protest a playact: Congress

The Delhi Congress said that the BJP’s protest against the new liquor policy was a mere playact to fool the people, as it was on the same page with the Delhi Government on the issue, otherwise, the Lt. Governor would not have given his approval to the liberalized Excise Policy.

“Shops have been allowed to open near educational institutions, places of worship, banks and other public dealing places, resulting in the worsening of the law and order situation in the Capital. According to the Master Plan, liquor shops cannot be opened at residential areas and unauthorized colonies, but liquors shops have been opened in such areas with the approval of the BJP-ruled MCDs, which exposes the duplicity of the BJP about the liquor policy,” the Delhi Congress said in a statement.

Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 4:09:41 am |