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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Delhi sealing row: Govt to seek SC stay on drive, BJP leaders file complaint citing ‘misbehaviour’

A team of BJP leaders comprising Delhi MPs, MLAs and mayors had gone to chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s house to discuss the issue of sealing in markets. The discussion, however, failed as BJP leaders walked out claiming AAP members misbehaved with them.

delhi Updated: Feb 01, 2018 07:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a Republic Day function at Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi, on Thursday.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a Republic Day function at Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi, on Thursday. (PTI)

The Delhi government will approach the Supreme Court this week to get a temporary stay on the ongoing sealing drive against several markets in the city, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday.

Kejriwal made the announcement after a meeting with BJP leaders at his residence ended in acrimony, with Opposition leaders filing a complaint against AAP MLAs for allegedly attacking them during and after the meeting.

“Last evening, I discussed the issue with lawyers. We have decided that in a day or two, Delhi government will move the SC to get a temporary stay on the sealing drive,” the chief minister said after the meeting with BJP leaders.

Delhi Police spokesperson Dependra Pathak said that a case has been registered on the BJP’s complaint. The case has been registered under sections 323 (assault) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the IPC.

The sealing drive that started in December 22 last year, has become a political hot potato ahead of a possible bypoll in 20 Assembly constituencies. While the BJP is set to meet the Lieutenant Governor and Union urban development minister Hardeep Puri, Kejriwal spent Tuesday afternoon meeting traders in different markets in the Capital. He visited traders at Karol Bagh, Defence Colony, Hauz Khaz, Model Town and Chandni Chowk. “Someone told me that through the sealing drive, BJP wants to ruin Delhi’s retail market and pave way for FDI in retail. Hope this is not true,” he told the traders.

Before Kejriwal visited different markets, there was high drama at his residence at Flagstaff Road with BJP leaders staging a walkout from the meeting. All BJP MPs from Delhi, except Harsh Vardhan and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel, along with three MLAs, including Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta, had gone to Kejriwal’s residence to discuss the issue of sealing. Three mayors of the corporations were also present.

However, the discussion failed with BJP leaders alleging that AAP MLAs and party workers misbehaved with them. “Kejriwal brought in about 150 party workers at his residence. They did not allow discussion to take place. They were continuously interrupting and misbehaving,” said South Delhi MP Ramesh Bidhuri.

Delhi BJP unit general secretary Ravinder Gupta filed a police complaint at Civil Lines station — following which Vijender Gupta and another BJP leader were taken to Aruna Asaf Ali Hospital by the police.

In videos shared by AAP leaders on social media later in the day, Kejriwal was seen requesting the BJP leaders to wait and listen to his point of view. Another video shared online by BJP supporters showed AAP MLAs hooting at the BJP leaders when Vijender Gupta was speaking to Kejriwal.

“We had an appointment with the CM. But after we reached AAP MLAs Jitender Tomar, Sanjeev Jha, Jarnail Singh, Akhilesh Tripathi and others started heckling and abusing us,” Gupta said in his police complaint.

Responding to the allegations, Kejriwal said the BJP leaders were “lying”. “I made a sincere request to our BJP friends to sit down, discuss and together find a solution to the sealing drive. However, they just walked out. I am disappointed. Solutions can be found only through discussions in democracy,” he said.

The CM added that Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, who is an MP, raised the issue of notifying 351 roads and unauthorised colonies and that neither of the points were related to the sealing drive. “The fact is that sealing drive is not happening in any of these 351 roads which the BJP leaders are talking about,” he said.

Kejriwal criticised the three MCDs for delaying the process of notifying the 351 roads under commercial or mixed land use category. “We have sent at least eight reminders to the MCDs to give us the survey reports based on which we can go ahead with notifying the roads, but to no avail. As soon as we get the reports, we will go to the SC to take its permission for notifying these roads,” he said.

On Monday, urban development minister Satyendar Jain met MCD commissioners who sought time till Wednesday to submit the survey reports of the 351 roads.

Kejriwal also blamed Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and the Centre for delaying changes in the Master Plan and not bringing an ordinance to change the law.

First Published: Jan 30, 2018 11:51 IST

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