Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday, 16 May, broke his silence on the anti-encroachment drives that are being conducted in the national capital and said that the BJP-led Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) planned to carry out the biggest destruction in independent India.
"The way BJP is destroying people's houses and shops in Delhi, it is not right. Bulldozers can run on the shops or houses of 63 lakh people. This will be the biggest destruction of independent India," he said, adding that the BJP planned to demolish all of Delhi's unauthorised colonies.
"More than 80 percent of Delhi can be considered built on encroached land. Will 80 percent of Delhi be destroyed? And the manner in which these anti-encroachment drives are being conducted - no papers, no one is being given a chance... they just reach a colony with a bulldozer and start demolishing anyone's home or shop."Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
'We Will Regularise Unauthorised Colonies': Kejriwal
Kejriwal said during a press conference that 50 lakh people in Delhi lived in unauthorised colonies, 10 lakh people in shanties, and 3 lakh people have unauthorised renovations in their houses. He added that the BJP-led MCD planned to demolish all of these.
"We want to assure people that we will provide a solution to encroachment. We will regularise unauthorised colonies, and will give ownerships rights to the residents. We will ensure they have proper sanitation. We will make houses for people who live in shanties in the same place," the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said, noting that the party was not in favour of encroachments.
Kejriwal said that the BJP was not allowing the due MCD elections to happen, adding that everyone in Delhi knew that the AAP would win. He alleged that in its tenure of 15 years, the BJP has taken bribes to settle people in unauthorised colonies.
This comes amid a phase of demolition drives being conducted in Delhi that had begun on 4 May from the Karni Singh Shooting Range area in Tughlakabad, and have spanned over areas including Rohini, Dwarka, Shaheen Bagh, and New Friends Colony.
On Friday, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the BJP planned to demolish the homes of 70 percent of the city's population. Sisodia said that he had written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah urging him to stop the demolitions being conducted in the national capital under the BJP-ruled civic body.