Paving the way for their authorisation, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi distributed provisional regularisation certificates to representatives of unauthorised residential colonies across Delhi during a function at Chhatarsal Stadium on Saturday.
However, the Urban Development Ministry’s function was marked by some anti-Sonia sloganeering that were immediately followed by some ‘Sonia zindabad’ slogans from Congress supporters.
The speech by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi was marred by the din of slogans raised by disgruntled farmers from Kanjhawala, who were protesting against the government’s land acquisition policy.
Calling the distribution of provisional regularisation certificates as fulfillment of promise, first step for which was taken in February 2007 when the Delhi Master Plan 2021 was notified, Gandhi said, “When I handed over a certificate, one of the brothers said ‘This certificate is more important than the Nuclear Deal’.”
The UPA Chairperson also praised Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for her work. “She (Dikshit) has tried to change the face of Delhi during her tenure…. She has touched every field,” she said.
Interestingly, one Congress leader and Minister of State Ajay Maken, instrumental in the entire regularisation sop, found himself entirely sidelined. Maken was offered a place on the dais, but was not invited to speak on the occasion.
Union Urban Development Minister S. Jaipal Reddy and the chief minister also spoke on the occasion.
The crowd that came to attend the rally was an intriguing mix of the curious, the ignorant, troublemakers and Congress supporters.
RWA representatives, who came to collect the certificates, felt the government was serious towards completing the regularisation process. “We are happy that this government has at least started taking concrete steps,” said Tarachand, a resident of Begumpur Colony.
Shanti Devi of Mukundpur, North Delhi, walked in unaware of the purpose of the rally. “I am here with a relative to see Sonia Gandhi,” she said.
(With inputs from Madhurima Das)