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AAP, BJP spar over sealing drive; Assembly adjourned four times

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Assembly on Monday witnessed repeated disruptions and sloganeering over the ongoing sealing drive in national Capital.
The first day of the Assembly's Winter Session saw sitting MLAs from the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party blaming each other for the drive, forcing Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel to order four adjournments and marshalling out of two BJP MLAs.
AAP MLAs alleged that the BJP- ruled Municipal Corporations of Delhi are harassing businessmen and there was "huge corruption" involved in the process.
As soon as proceedings began, scores of AAP MLAs rushed to the well of the House with banners that read "Anti-Business BJP" and "BJP came, brought back sealing".
They demanded a discussion on the sealing drive against properties that allegedly violate municipal norms.
After multiple adjournments, when the Speaker allowed the discussion, BJP MLAs demanded a separate discussion on the 351 roads, which are to be notified under commercial and mixed-use categories, so that businesses on these stretches were saved from being sealed.
AAP MLA Alka Lamba alleged in the House that the BJP has been collecting conversion charges for the past 10 years but was not issuing receipts to traders.
"There is corruption of the tune of Rs 1,000 crore in the collection of conversion charges," she said.
Another AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj said that the Commissioners of the three MCDs should be called to the Assembly on Wednesday and asked to give details of the conversion charges collected over 12 years.
Meanwhile, the BJP MLAs – including Manjinder Singh Sirsa and Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta – demanded the issue of the 351 roads be discussed and went on to stall the House proceedings. Eventually, the Speaker ordered Gupta and Sirsa to be marshalled out of the house.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the BJP was "minting money from traders and businessmen" in the city. "The sealing drive is being done by the BJP to make money," he said.
Talking to mediapersons outside the Assembly, Gupta alleged that the AAP was sitting on files related to notification of roads.
Referring to the disruptions caused by the BJP MLAs, the Speaker said, "This is murder of democracy and Delhi's citizens are watching it."
It may be mentioned that the sealing drive is being carried out by a Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee against business establishments using residential properties for commercial purposes, and it is being implemented by the three BJP-led MCDs.
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