Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ch. Anil Kumar said that the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party Governments were dangling the sword of bulldozer politics over the JJ Clusters and other such colonies in the Capital, after carrying out illegal demolition of the houses of the poor people at Jahagirpuri, which wrecked the lives of many street vendors and others. He said that the latest to be targeted for BJP’s bulldozer demolition threats were over 50,000 people living in 16 villages from Rajokri to Badarpur on the ridge area since 1950, who have played a major role in the development of Delhi. He said that they have been issued notices of demolition by the Forest Department, though they have been living in the Gram Sabha lands donated to the Forest Department. He said that the BJP was trying to emulate the bulldozer politics of Uttar Pradesh in Delhi to disturb the peace and lives of the people, while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind, who rarely stays in Delhi now, as he is always on tour to Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat to stretch his political wings, has left the poor people living in the JJ Clusters in the lurch, as he was keeping a studied silence, without speaking out against BJP’s illegal demolition drive.

Addressing a press conference at the DPCC office, Rajiv Bhawan here today, Ch. Anil Kumar said that Delhi Congress will mount a wide-spread agitation as people will come out of the villages on to the streets to thwart any attempt by the BJP-led Corporations to uproot people from the 16 villages. He said that representatives of these villages met him today, and raised the issue of the threat to use bulldozers by the BJP to evict them from their homes. Ch. Anil Kumar said that he assured the delegation from the 16 villages that Delhi Congress will not allow their dwelling units to be demolished by the BJP bulldozers at any cost. Besides Ch. Anil Kumar, others present at the press conference were ex-MP Shri Ramesh Kumar, Chairman of the Communications Department and Ex-MLA Shri Anil Bhardwaj, ex-MLA Shri Vijay Lochav, District president Shri Rajesh Chouhan, Kisan Cell chairman Shri Rajbir Singh Solanki and ex-Councillor Shri Rajender Tanwar.

Ch. Anil Kumar said that according to the Delhi Act 2006 (Special Provision), passed by the  Congress Government, a notification had been issued to give protection to people living in the villages, ridges and other areas from demolition or uprooting. He said that in 2006, two senior BJP leaders, for their own political gains, had given the Gram Sabha lands of these 16 villages to the Forest Department, and the villagers of Delhi are paying a heavy price for BJP’s self-centred policies.

Ch. Anil Kumar said that Chief Minister Arvind used to call special sessions of the Delhi Assembly to discuss even a minor issue that serves his political and personal interest, and he should convene a special session of the Assembly to pass a law to return the Gram Sabha lands given to the Forest Department in the Ridge Area back to the Gram Sabha. He said that instead of protecting the interest of the poor people, Chief Minister Arvind was colluding with the BJP to uproot them.

Ch. Anil Kumar said that in the past seven years, the Modi Government and the Arvind Government joined hands to destroy the houses of thousands of people as the poor people have become the victims of their vested interest politics. He said that the demolition of the dwelling units of the poor people at Sangam Vihar, Okhla Dhobi Ghat, East Laxmi Park, Badarpur-Gurgaon Road, Rangpuri Pahari JJ Camp, Shakurbasti Railway Line JJ Cluster and Sarojini Nagar JJ Cluster shows the anti-poor mindset of the Arvind Government and the BJP Government. He said that the BJP and the AAP have been dangling the “Jahan Jhuggi, Wahi Makan” promise before the poor people, but the 46,000 flats constructed under the Rajiv Ratan Yojna have not yet been allotted to the poor people in the last seven years.

Ch. Anil Kumar said that instead of trying to illegally change the names of 40 villages in the Capital illegally, the BJP Government should ensure proper civic facilities and developments in these villages. He said that the BJP Councillors had promised to adopt villages to bring developments, but nothing happened during the 15-year rule of the BJP in the MCDs, and now they were trying to change the names of the villages, and playing the bulldozer politics, with Chief Minister Arvind remaining silent. He said that the BJP leaders were collecting illegal money from villagers with the threat of demolition notices, but the Congress party will not allow the poor to be uprooted from areas where they have been living for decades.

ex-MP Shri Ramesh Kumar and Ex-MLA Shri Vijay Lochav said that 7000 acres of Gram Sabha lands in 16 villages were given to the Forest Department by the BJP when it was in power in Delhi, but the Congress wants the land to be given back to the Gram Sabhas so that the villagers can live without the fear of the bulldozers. He said that there were over 300 villages in Delhi, and the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party Governments were scaring the people of these villages with the threat of bulldozers, which the Congress will not allow to succeed, as it will launch a major agitation against this demolition drive.