NEW DELHI: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday said the AAP will regularise markets that have not been granted licenses by MCD, which, he alleged, BJP denied them to extort money.
Traders constitute an important votebank for the parties and both AAP and BJP have announced sops for them, if they are voted to power after the December 4 MCD polls.
Calling Delhi a traders' city, Sisodia alleged that retailers and service providers like restaurants have been much "harassed" by the BJP-ruled municipal corporations.
"Bribe was rampant in issuing various kinds of licenses that was called 'BJP fees.' We will rationalise the license fees that are very high and people themselves will discard the 'BJP fee' this time in the MCD polls," Sisodia told PTI in an interview.
"The municipal corporations under the BJP, deliberately declared numerous markets in the city as illegal. The markets are there but they do not exist on paper. There are at least 70 municipal wards where there is not a single market that is legal. Go to any ward, either there are one or two legal markets or there are none at all. We will legalise such illegal markets," he said.
The minister said that these markets should be regulated a bit and then regularised, and added though the work will also involve the DDA, at least MCD can start it on its end.
"The DDA and MCD have deliberately maintained illegal status of such market to extract money," he claimed.
The AAP government had announced in June that it will redevelop the Kamla Nagar, Khari Baoli, Lajpat Nagar, Sarojini Nagar and Kirti Nagar markets to make them "world class."
The move was in accordance with the announcement in the city government's Rozgar Budget 2022-23, which aims to increase jobs opportunities with an investment of Rs 100 crore in a redevelopment project.
"When we started working on our budget proposal and undertook redevelopment of six big markets of the city like Gandhi Nagar, Lajpat Nagar, the MCD created most hurdles. All these things will go on smoothly when MCD is ruled by the AAP," he said.
Polling for the 250 wards of the MCD will be held on December 4.
Results will be announced after counting of votes on December 7.
In the last municipal polls, the AAP was trounced by the BJP.
The Kejriwal-led party had managed to grab just 48 seats out of 270 while the BJP had secured victory in 181 seats.