The BJP, demanding a solution to the sealing and demolition rows, moved a no-confidence motion against the Delhi government as the Winter Session of the Assembly began on Monday.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit would reply to the motion before it is put to vote. But as the BJP has only 20 members in the House, it has no chance of bringing down the Congress government.
On a day traders began a three-day bandh against the sealing drive, the 10-day Winter Session began amid unprecedented security. All roads leading to the Assembly were sealed as traders and the BJP threatened to lay siege to the complex.
The high temperature outside was matched in the House with members setting aside party affiliations demanding a solution to the sealing drive. BJP MLAs raised slogans inside and outside the House and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
Initiating the debate on the no-confidence motion, Leader of Opposition Jagdish Mukhi said a civil disobedience movement against Congress rule in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, the state government and at the Centre had started in Delhi.
"The situation has turned so bad that the trader is ready to violate court and government orders," he said.
Mukhi said several court orders had in the past not been implemented and, similarly, the one on the sealing issue too should be put in the cold storage. "If sealing restarts on November 1, the consequences in Delhi would be serious for which the Congress would be squarely responsible," he warned.
Taking the debate further, NCP MLA Ramvir Singh Bidhuri ridiculed the Congress for supporting the bandh called by traders and the BJP. "This is ironical — the Congress supporting a bandh against its own government," he said.
Bidhuri pilloried the BJP for doing little when it was in power for six years at the Centre. "Did the BJP ever bring a no-confidence motion against its former urban development minister who made life hell for residents and traders alike?" Bidhuri asked, without naming Jagmohan.
He demanded severe action against those Delhi Development officers who he said had failed the people of Delhi in discharging their duty by making available commercial space.
Replying to the debate, Urban Development Minister AK Walia listed the steps the Centre had taken to rescue people grappling with unauthorised constructions and the sealing drive.
Education Minister Arvinder Singh Lovely asked the BJP: "Where are the bulldozers now?" Saying the Delhi Laws (Special Provisions) Act, 2006, can offer a solution to the issue of street vendors, he suggested a similar solution to the sealing row.