The regularisation of 917 illegal colonies in Delhi was described by the Sheila Dikshit government on Tuesday as the fulfillment of an electoral promise, the Congress made way back in 2008.
The Opposition BJP rejected the move as an election antic and the party-ruled municipal corporations claimed it is a "rash decision".
The Opposition claimed that the move smacks of political opportunism as it comes less than a year ahead of the assembly elections in Delhi. Lakhs of people living in the majority of these colonies constitute a major chunk of the Congress vote bank in Delhi. The expediting of the move could also be seen in the context of the crushing defeat that the ruling party had to concede in the last municipal elections at the hands of the BJP.
"We will not allow a single house to be demolished in the unauthorised colonies. People have constructed them by putting in their hard-earned money," Dikshit told reporters at a news conference at Delhi Secretariat on Tuesday. She also slammed the BJP for criticising the move
The BJP argued that if not for political gains then what for the decision was held up during the last four years of Congress rule in Delhi.
The BJP and party leaders attached to the municipal corporations called the move an 'election lollipop' aimed at garnering votes.
"The decision is merely eyewash. These colonies do not even have layout plans. This is just an election lollipop," said state BJP president Vijender Gupta.
"The chief minister did not do any ground work before making the announcement. The municipal corporation will have to provide school, roads and amenities but the government has not announced any funds. How will these requirements be fulfilled?" asked Annapurna Mishra, mayor, EDMC.
Vijay Goel, BJP national general secretary, called the announcement a 'tamasha' and an election gimmick.