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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

AAP, BJP spar over illegal colonies

cities Updated: Sep 21, 2019 21:34 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

New Delhi

Regularisation of unauthorised colonies has become the latest political hot potato ahead of the assembly elections in Delhi scheduled early next year.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday took out a protest march from the party headquarters to the BJP office, both near ITO, against the saffron party’s “false” promises.

The BJP countered AAP by announcing it would start a “Dilli Bachao-Bhajpa Lao” campaign from Sunday to reach out those living in unauthorised colonies.

Leading the march, AAP Delhi convener Gopal Rai said the Delhi government has been trying for many years to regularise the city’s unauthorised colonies. Over one third of Delhi’s population lives in unauthorised colonies.

“We are celebrating this day (Saturday) as “Dhokha Diwas”. The Delhi government had passed a proposal in this regard in the cabinet and sent it to the Centre, but the central government has been sitting on it for many years,” Rai said. AAP’s party office is around 750 metres from the BJP headquarters at Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg.

Rai said despite the Central government not cooperating, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal worked to fix drains, roads, sewers and water pipelines in unauthorised colonies of Delhi at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore.

Delhi BJP secretary Kuljeet Singh Chahal said the issue had been politicised by AAP. “First the Congress misled the people and now AAP is also doing the same thing. However, the central government had started working for regularisation of unauthorised colonies. But the Kejriwal led government never cooperated despite the Centre writing several letters seeking demarcation of boundaries of these colonies,” he said.

AAP leader Rai said that in July, housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Puri had accepted the Delhi government proposal and promised to regularise unauthorised colonies of Delhi in a month. “There was a wave of happiness all over Delhi. But BJP state president Manoj Tiwari later said it will take six more months to regularise unauthorised colonies. I want to ask Puri and Tiwari, why is BJP cheating the people of Delhi?” asked.

Later, the Delhi BJP said that starting Sunday, it will launch a fresh outreach campaign in these colonies to “make people aware about the lies being spread by the AAP government”.

“Senior leaders of the BJP will address people in 22 assembly constituencies through this campaign. Not only will the lies of the Kejriwal government will be exposed but the efforts of the Central government for regularisation of unauthorised colonies will also reach the people,” a statement from the Delhi BJP read.

It added that on Sunday, the party will cover eight districts in the first phase. The areas include Bijwasan, Chhatarpur, Mustafabad, Karawal Nagar, Burari, Dwarka and so on.

AAP chief spokesperson, Saurabh Bhardwaj said that Tiwari asking for six months’ time is a “trick” by the BJP. “There is an election in Delhi after four months and the BJP, like the Congress, will come at the time of election and say that elect us this time and we will regularise the colonies. Congress also used to do the same thing. Once the election is over, the issue will be put in cold storage for five years again,” said Bharadwaj.

First Published: Sep 21, 2019 21:26 IST

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