Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying it had developed “sudden love” for people in the city’s unauthorised colonies ahead of next year’s Assembly elections, The Indian Express reported. The Aam Aadmi Party leader claimed it was a result of the development work done by his government in the colonies in the past five years.
“The sudden love of the BJP for these colonies raise serious doubts,” Kejriwal told reporters. “The BJP has realised that it is not in a position to enter these colonies to solicit votes. For the first time in 70 years, the discourse of an election campaign will be purely development work.”
The AAP leader said the government spent Rs 8,147 crore between 2015 and 2019 to lay water and sewer lines and build roads in 1,797 unauthorised colonies. In contrast, the Congress-led government of Sheila Dikshit spent just Rs 1,186 crore between the 2009 and 2014, he claimed.
On Tuesday, the Centre introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha to grant ownership rights to those who own properties in the unauthorised colonies. Kejriwal said it was a matter of satisfaction that the Centre had initiated the regularisation process after sitting on his government’s proposal for four years. However, he added that media reports claiming only 100 families would get ownership rights indicated that the whole exercise was just a “photo-op” for the Centre before the Assembly polls.
“The news reports have triggered suspicion,” Kejriwal said. “Who are these 100 people? I demand that registry papers be given to all before the polls.”
In September, the chief minister had said his government had sent 12 suggestions to the Centre to regularise the colonies. The following month, the Union Cabinet approved a proposal to give ownership rights to 40 lakh people living in these colonies.
Last week, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri announced that the process to regularise the colonies would be completed in three months. However, Kejriwal on Wednesday demanded to know why this cannot be done in three days.