NEW DELHI: Stressing on the impact of sealing drive in Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi warning that crime in the capital may increase if the drive does not end. "The traders are on the verge of starvation and each shop is means of livelihood for many people. If all of them are rendered unemployed (due to sealing) then it may have a huge impact law and order situation," he wrote in his letter to the PM.
Backing the shopkeepers who have been impacted by the sealing drive, he said these people are not corrupt. "Shops are being sealed in Delhi these days of shopkeepers who work for 24 hours a day and pay taxes to the government. These are not corrupt people. These are people who contribute to the development of the country," he said.
He lashed out at the Centre for not doing justice to the shopkeepers, claiming that they are facing the brunt of the Centre's faults. "The reason behind sealing is anomalies in the law. It is the responsibility of the Central government to remove these anomalies. However, the government has not done anything and the shopkeepers are paying the price for it," the Chief Minister wrote in a strongly-worded letter to the PM.
He appealed to the PM asking for a law to be made against the sealing drive so that the shopkeepers do not face any more harm. "There is only one solution now. A bill has to be brought in Parliament to remove anomalies in the law and save traders from unemployment," he said.
He also urged for the shops that have already been shut to be reopened. Seeking time to meet the PM, he urged him to discuss the sealing drive.
Kejriwal also wrote to Rahul urging him to raise the issue in Parliament to put pressure on the Centre to bring the bill. "This is an issue for which we need to forget politics and find a solution.
Kejriwal had on Friday threatened to go on hunger strike if the sealing drive is not stopped by March 31. The sealing drive was undertaken by the municipal corporations of the national capital on the directions of a Supreme Court-appointed committee in December last year. Under the drive, hundreds of commercial establishments have been sealed so far due to non-payment of conversion charges and violations of Delhi Master Plan.