With the protest over sealing drive in Delhi intensifying, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday, seeking appointments for resolving the issue.
In his letter to the Prime Minister, Kejriwal stressed on bringing a bill in Parliament to remove anomalies in the law, which he said are the reasons behind sealing of commercial establishments
In his letter to Congress President Rahul Gandhi, the Delhi CM said, "A solution to this problem should be found by rising above politics. This issue needs to be strongly raised in Parliament and pressure should be exerted on the Centre to bring a bill over it."
The sealing drive was undertaken by municipal corporations of the national capital on the directions of a Supreme Court-appointed committee in December last year.
Under the drive, hundreds of commercial establishments have been sealed so far due to non-payment of conversion charges and violations of the Delhi Master Plan.
Top 10 developments:
1. Kejriwal seeks Modi, Rahul Gandhi's help: Seeking time to resolve the issue, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
In his letter to the prime minister, he stressed on bringing a Bill in Parliament to remove anomalies in the law which he said are the reasons behind sealing of commercial establishments, and warned that unemployment caused by the drive could impact law and order situation in the city.
"The reason behind sealing is anomalies in the law. It is the responsibility of the Central government to remove these anomalies," the chief minister said.
"A solution to this problem should be found by rising above politics. This issue needs to be strongly raised in Parliament and pressure should be exerted on the Centre to bring a Bill over it," Kejriwal wrote to the Congress president.
2. Stir takes political turn: After 400 shops were sealed by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) at the Amar Colony market on Thursday, Lajpat Nagar traders held protests demanding de-sealing of their shops.
"All are stuck in the sealing in Delhi. This isn't a single party matter and is not about me. If all the MLAs get together and we close the sansad for 2 days, this matter can be solved. If there is no solution to the sealing drive by March 31, I will go on hunger strike. We will put pressure on the Centre together," the chief minister told the traders.
Local Municipal Coucillor Avhishek Dutt accused the chief minister of ignoring the traders for the last 3 days. “I have been with the traders for the last three days, where were you guys? I don’t want to do politics but I need answers to my questions," Dutt said.
3. Traders call for bandh on March 13: Delhi traders on Thursday called for a day-long 'bandh' on March 13 to protest against the ongoing sealing drive against illegal commercial establishments, and threatened to move their businesses to neighbouring cities.
The decision to close all markets in Delhi on March 13 was taken at a meeting convened by the Confederation of All India Traders, CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said.
The meeting was attended by leaders of more than 250 prominent trade associations of Delhi, Khandelwal said.
4. AAP demands ordinance: The Aam Aadmi Party has been demanding for a central government ordinance against the ongoing drive. "The BJP is not serious about finding a solution to the sealing drive.
It is because of their carelessness that the people and businessmen of Delhi are in trouble," AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj told the media on Friday.
"We have been saying that there is only one solution to sealing and that lies with the Centre -- ordinance..., only ordinance," he added.
5. Kejriwal threatens to go on hunger strike: On Friday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that he would go on a hunger strike if the issue of the ongoing sealing drive in the national capital is not resolved by March 31.
"If the sealing issue is not resolved before March 31 then I will sit on hunger strike. We all will together put pressure on the central government," Kejriwal said, while addressing a group of traders at Lajpat Nagar in south Delhi.
The Chief Minister said he had met many traders and spoken to them about the issue.
6. AAP accuses BJP: Delhi government has accused the BJP of hoodwinking traders in an ordinance to end the sealing drive.
AAP's Delhi unit chief spokesperson, Saurabh Bharadwaj, alleged the drive was a conspiracy to collect money from Delhi businessmen. He further alleged BJP leaders in Delhi were swindling millions of rupees from traders after civic bodies started the drive.
7. Manoj Tiwari condemns police action on protestors: "It is a grave humanitarian issue involving hundreds of thousands of families, and police should abstain from using force on traders,” Delhi BJP chief told Indian Express.
Traders have accused the Delhi police of manhandling protestors, including women. A photojournalist with a Hindi daily accused the Delhi Police of roughing him up while he was covering the sealing drive in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar.
8. Shops sealed in South Delhi: As many as 350 shops were sealed by civic authorities for alleged misuse and encroachment of properties in south Delhi's Lajpat Nagar area, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation said.
Besides, 33 units were also sealed in the GK Enclave-II and various other colonies, the civic body said in a statement.
9. Kejriwal calls off Holi celebration in protest: Holi celebrations were called off at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence today to protest the on-going sealing drive here, AAP's Delhi unit chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said on March 2. 10. Supreme Court stays DDA's move to change Delhi Master Plan: The DDA had decided to make amendments in MPD to grant relief to traders from the sealing drive. The Supreme Court, however, stayed the move while rapping the agency and the Centre for approving the changes without taking their environmental impact into consideration.Bharadwaj also tweeted a picture of the area outside Kejriwal's 4 Flag Staff Road residence at Civil Lines wearing a deserted look.