Delhi sealing row: BJP alleges leaders attacked at meeting with Kejriwal

A meeting between BJP Delhi leaders, commissioners of the three municipal corporations and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on the controversial sealing drive underway in Delhi markets ended in chaos on Tuesday. BJP leaders and MCD commissioners walked out within minutes of the meeting while alleging they were heckled and attacked by AAP members. BJP Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari also filed a complaint at the Civil Lines police station.

Aam Aadmi Party, however, said the disagreement was over the presence of the media, which the BJP had objected to. After the meeting ended abruptly, Kejriwal said the Delhi government would appeal to the Supreme Court asking for a temporary ban on the sealing drive.

Soon after, Tiwari, addressing a press conference, said, “I am very shocked. Today, in this democratic country, someone’s sentiments have been hurt. On this day, events which bring shame to certain beliefs which represent our country’s culture — Atithi Devo Bhavah and loktantra (democracy) — took place outside the CM’s residence.”

“I am feeling safe right now because I am talking to you in our BJP office at 14th Pant Marg. Preety Agarwal, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor, was attacked at the CM’s residence. Forget that she is a mayor, she is a woman,” Tiwari added.

He also alleged that another EDMC member Neema Bhagat received injuries on her stomach after she was manhandled.

Tiwari added, “I would like to request Arvind Kejriwal to stop politicising the matter. The MCDs, in a special joint session, passed a resolution to put a stay on the ongoing sealing drive. I request him to call an emergency session on this resolution. Otherwise, Kejriwal should resign.”

“The BJP is troubled by sealing. We have held several meetings and we also met the monitoring committee and requested to call the Chief Minister, MCD and ministers and come up with a time frame so that traders and labourers do not face any difficulty,” he added.

Tiwari said that he would pen an open letter to Kejriwal inviting him for talks on the issue at Ramlila Maidan.

Meanwhile, AAP rejected claims that any member from the BJP was manhandled. “All of what happened has been recorded on cameras. The allegation that BJP members or MCD officials were manhandled are rubbish. Traders from Delhi were waiting for this meeting hoping there would be some solution to their troubles but BJP ran away from the meeting,” party MLA Jarnail Singh said.