Bring in ordinance to stop sealing drive in Delhi, Kejriwal tells Centre

Published on Nov 23, 2018 11:41 AM IST

The sealing drive in Delhi, which has been underway since last December, on the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee, has assumed political overtones in Delhi with the 2019 Lok Sabha and the 2020 Assembly polls drawing nearer.

File photo of a traders’ protest against the sealing drive in Delhi.(Sushil Kumar/HT File)
File photo of a traders’ protest against the sealing drive in Delhi.(Sushil Kumar/HT File)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal Thursday urged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre to bring in an ordinance to stop the ongoing sealing drive and thus provide relief to affected traders.

The BJP, in response, said it was not in favour of an ordinance that would legitimise “illegal” constructions and encroachments in the national capital.

The statement asking the BJP to give up “stunts and theatrics”, came on a day when the Supreme Court rebuked Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari for breaking a property sealed by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation in Gokalpuri for running an illegal dairy from a residential unit.

A complaint was filed by the civic body against the parliamentarian from northeast Delhi. The Supreme Court-appointed monitoring panel, overseeing the sealing drive, then petitioned the apex court for contempt action against Tiwari. However, on Thursday, the court refrained from initiating contempt proceedings against Tiwari.

“If BJP is done with its stunts and theatrics, the people of Delhi urge the BJP to immediately bring an ordinance now to maintain status quo, provide relief to lakhs of people and save their jobs,” Kejriwal tweeted in response to a news report about “relief from SC to Manoj Tiwari”.

The BJP said an ordinance would legitimise illegal activities, which the party did not want.

“We will want to support an ordinance that will legalise all unauthorised constructions and encroachments. People who have flouted norms should be punished. But those with minor adjustments should not be harassed in the name of sealing,” Tiwari clarified.

The sealing drive, which has been underway since last December, on the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee, had assumed political overtones in Delhi with the 2019 Lok Sabha and the 2020 Assembly polls drawing nearer.

“People of Delhi elected seven BJP MPs including Manoj Tiwari. If they are done with the drama, they should ensure that Centre brings an ordinance to end the drive,” AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj tweeted.

AAP, which has been vehemently opposing the drive, had accused Tiwari of indulging in theatrics by trying to break the seal.

The Kejriwal-led party said the BJP was misleading traders by showing “fake concern” ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, while it remained silent when the drive was started last year.

Leader of opposition and BJP MLA Vijender Gupta accused the Delhi government of being “non-serious and indulging in blame game to hide its incompetence”.

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