Kejriwal Urges Rahul Gandhi to Raise Voice Against Sealings

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) holding a demonstration against the sealing drive in Delhi. Photo: AAP
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) holding a demonstration against the sealing drive in Delhi. Photo: AAP

The fact is that all political parties are trying to exploit the sealing issue to gain political advantage.

By Rakesh Raman

Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal has requested Congress president Rahul Gandhi to raise voice in the Parliament against the sealing drive in Delhi.

In a letter written to Rahul Gandhi on Friday, Kejriwal said that the shops of small traders are being sealed in Delhi because o which hundreds of thousands of people are losing their employment.

Kejriwal also stated that this issue should be vehemently raised in the Parliament and the Central government should be forced to pass a bill to stop sealings.

In his letter, Kejriwal also has expressed his desire to meet Rahul Gandhi to discuss the sealing issue. Kejriwal has sent a similar letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sealing Issue in Delhi

Currently, the Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs), which are controlled by BJP, are carrying out sealings under the directions of the Supreme Court of India. A Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee is closing the shops that have done unauthorized constructions.

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As sealing has become a hot potato, the traders in Delhi had decided to observe a two-day bandh last month. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) – an industry body comprising multiple trader associations – had given the bandh call in which nearly 700,000 traders were expected to participate.

Kejriwal’s AAP, BJP, and Congress are also supporting traders because the traders’ community is a large vote bank for all political parties. In order to win traders’ votes, Kejriwal has even threatened to go on hunger strike against the sealing drive.

[ Sealing in Delhi Must Continue. Govt Must Not Break the Law ]

With their protests, traders as well as political parties are trying to force Lt. Governor (LG) of Delhi Anil Baijal to break the law and authorize illegal constructions in Delhi.

However, Baijal had said that “all possible solutions are being explored to overcome the sealing crisis, keeping in view the judicial pronouncements on the subject and extant laws.”

The illegal construction is not only happening in shops but it is also being carried out by corrupt managing committees (MCs) of cooperative group housing societies.

The Kejriwal government, LG office, MCDs, and DDA are playing hand in glove with the corrupt MC members of housing societies and allowing illegal construction under a dubious floor area ratio (FAR) scheme.

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The fact is that all political parties are trying to exploit the sealing issue to gain political advantage. But, in the process, they are trying to break the law by demanding legalization of the illegal activity of local traders who have done unauthorized constructions. Government must not succumb and continue its sealing drive in Delhi.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He also runs a free school for deserving children under his NGO – RMN Foundation.

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Rakesh Raman