The Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party today locked horns over the ongoing sealing drive in Delhi after a meeting called at Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence to thrash out differences and reach a consensus on the issue ended with BJP members walking out. A BJP delegation led by Manoj Tiwari — including three MPs, three MLAs, and two Mayors – walked out of the meeting barely 10 minutes after it began.
Kejriwal, on the other hand, said that the Delhi government will move the Supreme Court to seek a temporary stay on the sealing drive. “Delhi government will be going to Supreme Court this week to seek a temporary stay on the sealing drive. There is a state of chaos in Delhi due to this. I had written to the LG and said that he should increase the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and reduce the convergence charge,” Kejriwal told reporters after the meeting ended in a fiasco.
Notably, the AAP government in Delhi and the BJP have been locked in a bitter battle over the sealing drive in Delhi with both sides blaming each other for it. Kejriwal has alleged that the MCD had collected Rs 3,000 crore in the past few years through convergence charge but spent it elsewhere.
After the meeting today, Kejriwal took to Twitter to train guns at the BJP. “I made a sincere request to our BJP friends to sit down, discuss and together find a solution to sealing. However, they just walked out. I am disappointed. Solutions can be found only through discussions in democracy,” he said.
— Praveen Kumar (@Aap_Praveen) January 30, 2018
The BJP, on the other hand, blamed the city government for turning the meeting into a photo-op. Manoj Tiwari, who led the BJP delegation to the CM’s residence, said that he had no issues with holding an open meeting but objected to the heavy presence of media inside the meeting hall. Kejriwal told the BJP Chief that they should find a resolution and approach the Lieutenant Governor together as the traders of Delhi were suffering due to the sealing drive. Tiwari responded to Kejriwal saying, “We gave enough time but you never replied, instead you’ve called the media and created a ruckus.”
AAP MLAs present at the public meeting also raised slogans against Tiwari and the BJP, media reports said. The Chief Minister is slated to visit various areas of Delhi to meet aggrieved people. Meanwhile, BJP workers protested outside the CM’s residence after the BJP delegation walked off from the meeting.
The BJP has in the past blamed the Kejriwal government of inaction leading to suffering for traders in Delhi. Slamming the Delhi government on the sealing issue earlier, the BJP leader said, “chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s government failed the Delhi people by neither notifying commercial roads nor starting formalities for regularisation of unauthorised colonies and also negligently filing an application in the Supreme Court to seek more time without submitting any work plan. As a result, the Supreme Court ordered for sealing to resume under the Monitoring Committee’s supervision.”
He said he would appeal to Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal to call a meeting of officials of the central and Delhi governments, MCDs, Delhi Development Authority and New Delhi Municipal Council and ensure a single counsel appear on their behalf in the apex court to seek one year for completion of regularisation work.