New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari has triggered a controversy by breaking the lock of a sealed house in the national capital with Chief Minister (CM) Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) attacking him for contempt of apex Supreme Court’s (SC) orders.
Tiwari had on Sunday evening broken the sealed lock of a house in Gukulpuri stating that he was protesting against municipal officials’ “pick-and-choose” policy of acting against properties flouting building norms. “Only one house in the lane was sealed by the authorities in Gokulpuri in northeast Delhi. Why were others spared? This is corruption. Officials are sealing properties according to their whims and fancies. This should stop,” Tiwari told media.
He said there were as many as 5,000 houses in Gokulpuri, but only 200 were served notices.
“I have broken the seal of a house in Gokulpuri and I will not stop here. I will go to every locality where illegal sealing is being done. I will not tolerate any ‘pick and choose’ action. This sealing is facilitating corruption. Municipal officials are indulging in corruption in the name of sealing by the monitoring committee,” Tiwari said.
After the video of the incident surfaced on the social media, Delhi CM Kejriwal on Monday said it was BJP’s drama to misguide voters.
“They seal themselves in the morning and break locks in the evening. Do they feel people are fools? After demonetisation and introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST), BJP has now ruined Delhi with sealing,” Kejriwal said referring to the ongoing sealing drive by BJP-ruled municipal corporations in the city.
Delhi Congress leader Haroon Yusuf said Tiwari was playing politics over sealing.
“Who is Tiwari trying to fool? BJP is in charge of the municipal corporations for 11 years. Had they been so serious about the issue, they would have found a solution by now and prevented the sealing. They are just playing dirty political game,” Yusuf said.
Another Congress leader Mukesh Sharma said BJP had two faces on the sealing issue.
“Tiwari created drama by breaking the lock of the house sealed by the municipal corporation in Gokalpuri. If BJP is serious on the issue, all its Parliamentarians in Delhi should ask for an ordinance against sealing from its government,” Sharma said.
Member of SC-appointed monitoring committee KJ Rao said he would apprise the top Court of the incident.
“If it has happened, it is clearly a contempt of court, which mandates three months’ imprisonment. We will report the matter to the court,” he said.
Incidentally, lthe monitoring committee last Friday complained to the court that the central government’s Special Task Force (STF) set up to take measures against illegal construction in Delhi was not assisting the committee in sealing drive.
The Court lashed out at the STF and asked to provide “full support” to the panel.
“The monitoring committee is constituted by this court. If you are treating the committee in this manner then you are treating the court in this manner. Why are you doing this? Are you under pressure? Monitoring committee’s report shows you are obviously under some pressure, probably from the traders. Are your officers children? Why don’t you tell them that they need to work for the people of Delhi and not for a class of people,” Justice MB Lokur told the STF.