Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday interacted with street vendors in the national capital demanding the implementation of a law aimed to protect them from harassment.
“These people are oppressed. They are not given their proper space and so I have come to listen to them. There used to be sheds here which have been taken away from these people, so they called me to look into it,” Gandhi said after meeting vendors in Raghubir Nagar area.
“The poor people here are being sidelined from the city and I will find a solution for these people,” he added.
Before meeting the vendors, Gandhi visited a nearby temple to pray. Senior Congress leaders Ajay Maken and PC Chacko accompanied him.
The Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Bill was passed by both houses of parliament last year. It was introduced in 2012 by the previous UPA government.
The law aims to regulate street vending, protect the rights of vendors in cities, and prevent their harassment by police and civic authorities. It also has provisions for protecting livelihood rights and social security of vendors.
The Congress has said there has been an increase in cases of harassment of vendors in Delhi and demanded that the city’s AAP government should immediately implement the law.
“We hear that vendors are being fleeced more than earlier. This is because the act is not being implemented in Delhi. Vendors are being harassed, money is being recovered from them. Police, corporation is fleecing them. Our demand is the act should be implemented immediately in Delhi," Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken told the media.
Under the law, vending certificates or licenses can be issued to up to 2.5% of a city's population. Thus, Delhi can have about 500,000 vendors but the Congress claimed not a single vending certificate had been issued after the law was passed.