Slamming the BJP over the civic bodies’ anti-encroachment drives in Delhi, the AAP on Thursday demanded that polls be held to elect new municipal boards which will decide whether such a large scale action against unauthorised constructions and settlements be carried out or not.
The party alleged that the BJP-ruled corporations have launched the drives at the fag end of their term while the saffron party and its leaders let unauthorised constructions and settlements come up across Delhi accepting bribes while at the helm of civic bodies for the last 15 years.
The ongoing anti-encroachment drive will render about 63 lakh people homeless in the national capital if it continues to demolish unauthorised construction and remove unauthorised settlements, the AAP claimed.
”We are also against unauthorised constructions. The people of Delhi also do not want such things to happen in the city,” AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj told a press conference.
”But the question that arises here is that who let these unauthorised constructions and encroachments happen across Delhi? It’s the BJP which has been ruling the MCD (civic bodies) for last 15 years,” he charged.
BJP leaders, mayors, councillors and officials of the party-ruled corporations allowed the unauthorised constructions and settlements to come up across Delhi, ”taking bribes”, Bharadwaj alleged.
The AAP spokesperson said that the BJP-ruled corporations have launched the anti-encroachment drive when the terms of the three civic bodies are set to be over this month.
”We demand that the polls be conducted to elect new MCD. Those who will be elected will decide whether the bulldozers should be run and where, or not,” he said.
With its anti-encroachment drive, the BJP-ruled corporations have prepared a plan to ”destroy the entire Delhi and ruin the lives of lakhs of people living in the city”, the AAP leader alleged.
He claimed that about 63 lakh people, including 50 lakh people living in 1,750 unauthorised colonies and hundreds of others living in jhuggi clusters (slums), will be rendered homeless if the anti-encroachment drive continues.
Before razing their houses, the AAP leader demanded that bulldozers be run on the houses of all those BJP leaders, councillors and MCD officials ”who took bribes” to let unauthorised constructions, settlements and encroachments happen the city.
”First of all, bulldozers should be run on the house of Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta,” he said.
Some illegal constructions have been done at the residence of the Delhi BJP president as well, Bharadwaj alleged, referring to a private news channel’s report without taking its name.
Taking serious exception to the AAP leader’s remarks against Gupta, the Delhi BJP said the ”undignified words” used by Bharadwaj for its president ”clearly shows how poor is his political and family grooming”.
”The way the AAP leaders are reacting to the anti-encroachments drive clearly shows that drive is effecting their political supporters and its proof is AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan’s constant effort to provoke people to take law into their own hands,” Delhi BJP Spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, the civic authorities carried out anti-encroachment drives in various parts of Delhi that sparked violent protests in the Madanpur Khadar area where the locals claimed that legal structures were bulldozed.
According to the police, the locals in southeast Delhi’s Madanpur Khadar tried to stop the bulldozers and pelted stones at security personnel but were chased away.
AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan, who was part of a protest in Madanpur Khadar, was detained along with others, police officials said.
”Delhi Police should have arrested Amanatullah Khan and (AAP) councilor Wazid Khan the day they were provoking people at Shaheen Bagh,” the Delhi BJP spokesperson said.