Congress calls saffron party leaders anti-poor

The demolition of nearly 500 dwellings in a south Delhi slum assumed political colour on Wednesday with the Congress accusing the BJP-led central government and the local BJP leaders of being anti-poor.

A team of Congress leaders, including former MP Sajjan Kumar and Vijay Lochav, gave a representation at Raj Niwas seeking rehabilitation of the slum dwellers at the Rangpuri hills in Vasant Kunj.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee’s Chief Spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said the demolition has shown that the BJP “does not care for the poor”.

“The slum dwellers who were living there for nearly 25 years had electricity connections and ration cards. They have been displaced without rehabilitation in chilly weather,” he said.

On the one hand the BJP’s Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu talks of improving the living condition of slum dwellers, on the other the central government is ordering demolition of slums by the forest department, Sharma said.

The BJP promised good days for all before the Lok Sabha polls but it seems bad days have begun for residents of Rangpuri slums who have not been offered any alternative plots, Sharma said.

Sharma also slammed the local BJP leader and former MLA Sat Prakash Rana for paving the way for the demolition.

Former Congress legislator Vijay Lochav, who addressed the media along with Sharma, said: “The Aam Aadmi Party’s Lok Sabha election contestant (Devender Shehrawat), who lives just two kilometres from the demolition spot, did not help the tragedy-struck slum dwellers.”

Lochav said if the jhuggi dwellers were removed without giving them alternative plots, the party will not shy away from starting agitations against the Delhi administration.

If the jhuggi dwellers were not allowed to stay in their present location, then lakhs of jhuggi dwellers would gherao BJP leaders in their homes, he said.

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