Delhi govt to move SC seeking stay on sealing drive, says Kejriwal


New Delhi: The Delhi government will ask the Supreme Court to order a temporary ban on sealing drives across the city, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Tuesday amid a tussle between his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that controls local municipal bodies.

The drive against commercial premises comes at an inconvenient time for AAP with the fate of 20 of its legislators hanging in the balance after being disqualified from the assembly over allegations of holding offices of profit as parliamentary secretaries.

“I will visit markets today to meet traders and understand the issues they are facing due to the sealing drive. We have spoken to many legal experts. Delhi government will go to the Supreme Court this week to get a temporary ban on the sealing,” Kejriwal told reporters.

Kejriwal’s decision came after the failure of a meeting he convened on Tuesday with opposition leaders including members of Parliament from Delhi, members of legislative assembly (MLAs) and mayors, apparently to find a solution.

But the BJP delegation led by the party’s Delhi unit president Manoj Tiwari walked out of the meeting at Kejriwal’s residence, with Tiwari alleging the AAP government was trying to “divert” the issue.

AAP leaders said that a solution could have been found had all parties come on board. “I am sad that the meeting could not take place,” Kejriwal said.

The sealing drive by the BJP-run municipal corporations of Delhi were initiated by a Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee on commercial premises, including shops and restaurants, were sealed for failing to deposit “conversion charges” according to provisions in the Master Plan 2021.

“Traders in Delhi are angry and sad. Why are these sealing drives taking place? I had written to the LG (lieutenant governor) regarding the reasons and solution for this. There were five demands which can only be fulfilled by the LG or the central government,” Kejriwal said.

On Monday, a delegation of AAP MLAs met LG Anil Baijal to seek a solution to the problem.livemint