The ongoing sealing drive in Delhi has caught the attention of political parties and public alike. Delhi Congress vice-president Chattar Singh talks to Pushkar Banakar of The Sunday Standard on his party’s stand on the issue and its poll chances.
What do you have to say about the recent fiasco at the meeting between BJP and AAP leaders regarding the sealing drive?
This is just a political drama. You can clearly see that both the parties don’t want any solution. The BJP-ruled municipal corporations in the national capital did not even act on the list of 351 roads that was sent to them. ... Is the government’s job go to court or to hold protests? What is the use of protests? This is just drama.
What is the Congress’ stand on the sealing issue?
Right from 2006, when Ajay Maken was a Cabinet minister, he proposed changes and brought a Bill in Parliament and got it passed within seven days. BJP and AAP have proposed changes to DDA and the process of granting relief will take around a month. Meanwhile, the entire capital will be sealed.
Any message you want to convey to the traders, who have come on to the streets to protest against the sealing drive?
We are with the traders. The Delhi Congress, under Ajay Maken’s leadership, is with them. We will try our best and will go to court, if our efforts do not fructify. We have also met the SC-monitored committee and they have agreed to stop sealing in special areas. Special areas are those which have been notified before 1962.
Your take on the conversion rates and the penalties being imposed on the traders?
There must be no penalties. It is illegal for the government to collect penalties. The non-conforming areas scheme was made for a period of 10 years. It is now well past over 10 years. There must be no penalties or conversion charges whatsoever.
What about the buildings which have already been sealed?
We have made a legal team and we will do everything in our power to help them with the process of desealing.
Twenty AAP MLAs are disqualified and there is a possibility of bypolls. How is the Congress preparing for them and what are the party’s chances?
We are ready. We have called for meetings of all workers in all the constituencies and are gearing up the organization at the booth level. We are confident of winning all the 20 seats.
Delhi Pradesh Congress