AAP ups attack on BJP, says Sriniwaspuri temple next target of its ‘bulldozer politics'
There has been a war of words between the BJP and opposition parties over anti-encroachment demolition drives since such an exercise in north-west Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, days after communal clashes hit the area.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government of resorting to “bulldozer politics”, pointing to a notice issued by the land and development office (L&DO) of the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs concerning the Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir in Sriniwaspuri that is allegedly constructed on government land. Senior ministry officials clarified that they have not taken any action so far.
Senior AAP leader and Kalkaji MLA Atishi said the action “is rooted in extortion, threats, hooliganism, and intimidation”.
“Since yesterday, we have been interacting with the people here, listening to them about their grievances after we received a series of complaints about them receiving extortion and demolition threats. People of Sriniwaspuri informed us that a 25 to 30-year-old temple built in Lord Neelkanth’s name has also been given a demolition notice,” said Atishi who, along with AAP MLA from Kasturba Nagar Madan Lal, held a protest outside the temple on Saturday.
There has been a war of words between the BJP and opposition parties over anti-encroachment demolition drives since such an exercise in north-west Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, days after communal clashes hit the area. AAP alleged that the BJP-ruled municipal corporations were responsible for illegal constructions in Delhi.
The eviction notice to the temple was issued by L&DO on April 13. “It has been noticed that you have erected/occupied the said religious structure premises at the project site of Sriniwaspuri. It is an established fact that this is a government of India/ L&DO land and you have unauthorisedly occupied/encroached upon this government land,” said the notice issued by the L&DO to Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir on April 13.
HT has seen a copy of the letter.
“...It is hereby informed to vacate the entire premises of unauthorised construction in the name of religious structure within seven days from the date of issue of this notice, failing which the same will be evicted forcefully and demolished with the help of local police,” the notice further stated.
“The notice was issued. But talks are still on. So far, no action has been taken in this matter,” an L&DO officer said requesting anonymity.
The Delhi BJP alleged AAP has encroached on public space by extending its party headquarters to the pavement of the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Road. “Now one understands why AAP leaders are so vocal against encroachments drives,” said Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor.