AAP and BJP Monday sparred over the demolition of a Hanuman temple in Chandni Chowk, and the issue of air pollution in the city. The Hanuman temple was demolished as part of the Chandni Chowk redevelopment project, after a court battle that lasted over five years.
Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said CM Arvind Kejriwal has shown “anti-Hindu temples mentality” and demanded that the Delhi government come up with a modified redevelopment project in Chandni Chowk and rebuild the temple. “Kejriwal portrays himself as a Hanuman devotee but when it came to saving the Prachin Hanuman temple, he stepped back,” Gupta said.
AAP MCD in-charge, Durgesh Pathak, however, said BJP was only trying to divert attention: “The BJP-ruled MCD demolished the temple. Now to divert attention of people, they are falsely accusing AAP… The MCD recently submitted an affidavit in court where they noted that this temple was built on encroached land… and expressed its intention to demolish the temple.”
The court had earlier directed authorities, including the Delhi government, particularly the Additional Chief Secretary (Home), to discharge their constitutional and statutory duties. It also said the stand of the law enforcement agency that “it is powerless to ensure law and order, and, therefore, cannot implement orders of this court and the Supreme Court,” if accepted, would seriously threaten legitimacy of the rule of law.
The North MCD had earlier tried to carry out the court’s order but had failed as a large number of people had gathered at the spot to oppose the action.
Meanwhile, keeping up the pressure on the BJP-led MCDs ahead of the civic polls next year, AAP MLA Atishi said civic officials don’t have a clue regarding the length of roads that was supposed to be vacuum cleaned to control dust pollution.
The corporations have now been asked to submit an action plan for reducing dust pollution.
Leader of the house of South MCD Narendra Chawla, however, said, “Mechanical sweepers have been deployed across Delhi, even on PWD roads, even at a time when the government has withheld funds… This is a way to
harass officials unnecessarily.”
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