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Sealing drive: Political parties rally behind traders

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the BJP-ruled local bodies were harassing the traders in the garb of seeking conversion charges.

delhi Updated: Dec 23, 2017 23:53 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
hindustan times
sealing drive,delhi news,defence colony
A shopowner reacts as MCD officials seal shops at the Defence Colony Market .(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

Political parties of the Capital have come to the aid of traders who have been affected by the ongoing sealing drive launched by the municipal corporation, in accordance to instructions of a Supreme Court-appointed committee.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) alleged that the BJP-ruled local bodies were harassing the traders in the garb of seeking conversion charges. The party said the local body should instead waive off the charges and let the traders do business normally.

“The municipality laws are so complicated that traders have often fail to understand them. South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) did not even give them time to pay charges before sealing the shops. We know how corruption is rooted deep in the functioning of the BJP-ruled local bodies of Delhi. The charges should, ideally, be waived,” said Saurabh Bharadwaj, AAP spokesperson, who along with local MLA Madan Lal met traders of Defence colony Market on Saturday.

More than 50 business units, running from properties officially earmarked as residences have been sealed — completely or partially — in Defence Colony and Chattarpur since Thursday, by South Delhi Municipal Corporation, in a crack down overseen by the three-member sealing committee.

“We will meet SDMC commissioner and take up the issue on Tuesday,” said Lal.

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari assured a trader’s delegation of Greater Kailash Market on Saturday that the sealing exercise will not continue. Another party leader and Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta also questioned the spontaneous procedure of the drive.

“With due respect to the SC-appointed committee, the crackdown should have been launched in a streamlined manner. The owners of the shops should have been given prior notice or warning before sealing the premises. After all it is a matter of collecting conversion charges only,” Gupta said.

Congress’ local councillor, Abhishek Dutt said, “ The timing of the drive ahead of Christmas has hit the traders who were already burdened by GST and demonetisation.”

First Published: Dec 23, 2017 23:53 IST