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Tuesday, July 05, 2022

‘Dadagiri, gundagardi is not okay’: Kejriwal hits back at MCD over demolition drive

Lashing out at the BJP, he said before the elections, they had said they will give ownership rights to those staying in unauthorised colonies.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi |
May 16, 2022 2:00:12 pm
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held a meeting with the MLAs on Monday over the anti-encroachment drives. (File Photo)

Targeting the anti-encroachment drives held by the BJP-led MCD in the Capital, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Monday said the civic body was planning to run bulldozers over 63 lakh people in the city, making it the “biggest demolition in Independent India”. Kejriwal said he had told legislators from his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to stand by the people, and protest them against this “gundagardi”.

“In the last few weeks, we have seen that the BJP led MCD is running bulldozers and it’s being said that it will continue for the next months. They’re saying they will remove all encroachments, and illegal constructions in Delhi. We are also against encroachments, we don’t want illegal constructions,” he said during a virtual press conference.

“In the last 75 years, Delhi has not been made in a planned way. More than 80 per cent of Delhi will come under the bracket of illegal construction or encroachment. The question then arises, will 80 per cent of Delhi be demolished?” said Kejriwal.

The Delhi chief minister said he held a meeting of his party’s MLAs. “I told them even if we have to go to jail, don’t be scared. You need to stand by the people. Running bulldozers like this is not right. Doing dadagiri, gundagardi is not okay. Abusing your power is not okay,” he said.

“Why are you running bulldozers over people? We will fix Delhi. Like we have worked on education, health, water, and electricity, similarly, we will fix encroachments too. But to demolish homes and shops by running bulldozers over them is not right. We vehemently protest this,” said Kejriwal.

The AAP leader said there was also the question of how these encroachments were being removed. “Papers are not being shown, nobody is being given a chance. They just take bulldozers and reach any colony and start breaking anybody’s home or shop. That man is standing with papers in his hand, screaming, pleading for mercy and asking that his papers be considered. But nobody is checking his papers, only bulldozers are being run. This is not right. We are against the way they are removing the encroachments and the scale of their planning,” he said.

“Their plan is to break all unauthorised colonies in Delhi where around 50 lakh people stay. They also plan to break down all the jhuggies (slums) where around 10 lakh people stay. Apart from this, they have made a list of three lakh properties where people have gone beyond the map, and added a balcony or an extra room. Bulldozers will run over 63 lakh people. I believe this will be the biggest demolition in Independent India. This is not right,” said Kejriwal.

Lashing out at the BJP, he said before the elections, they had said they will give ownership rights to those staying in unauthorised colonies. “Before the elections, they had said they will make houses where there are jhuggis. And now after the elections, they have come to demolish them all,” he said, adding that “no one would tolerate” the lives and livelihoods of 63 lakh being ruined.

“In the last 15 years, BJP has ruled MCD. In the last 15 years, they made more illegal encroachments and buildings and there are allegations that they took money for these.  Now when their term is over – their term ends on May 18, it’s May 16 today, and only two days are left. Do they have the constitutional and legal power to take such a big decision?” he said.

Kejriwal said elections should be held and the new MCD should take the decision. “We give assurance to the people of Delhi that we will solve the issue of encroachments, regularise unauthorised colonies and make them clean… We are making houses for those living in jhuggis. It’s taking time,” said Kejriwal.

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He said those who had made “alterations” to their homes and shops would be given a chance to clear it.

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