An unauthorised colony in south Delhi | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
An unauthorised colony in south Delhi | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
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New Delhi: With Delhi assembly elections a few months away, the state BJP unit has urged the central leadership to hold a ‘thanksgiving’ programme with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the government’s decision to regularise nearly 1,800 unauthorised colonies in the national capital.

The ‘thanksgiving’ event aims to publicise the central government’s decision, BJP sources said.

A senior Delhi BJP leader said the free DTC and cluster bus rides announced by Arvind Kejriwal government have become the topic of discussion, but there is hardly anyone discussing the BJP-led central government’s “milestone” decision of regularising the unauthorised colonies.

“The AAP has already made water and power free, and now bus rides too. The only major thing that was left was legalising the unauthorised colonies. Though the central government has taken such a big step, it has not been publicised much,” said the leader, who did not wish to be named.

“We have requested the PM and the central (BJP) leadership for organising a ‘thanksgiving’ meeting as this issue has finally been sorted out and will impact lakhs of people in Delhi, especially the lower income group,” he added.

Also read: Kejriwal tells Punjab, Haryana ‘with folded hands’: Stop Delhi from becoming gas chamber

Modi govt may bring legislation in Winter Session

The Union Cabinet had on 23 October gave its approval for regularisation of 1,797 unauthorised colonies, benefitting over 50 lakh people. A large number of migrant population resides in these colonies, who are a major vote bank of Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The central government is likely to bring in a legislation in the Winter Session of Parliament, starting 18 November, to execute its decision.

The BJP is now deciding whether to hold the ‘thanksgiving’ event before or after the Parliament session.

“The ‘thanksgiving’ programme with the PM and senior leadership should happen. The regularisation of unauthorised colonies is a big development in Delhi and the plots are being given by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which is a major change in the policy. We are planning to educate the people about this decision as AAP is trying to mislead them by saying they have done it,” said a second BJP leader. 

State BJP leaders are also planning to hold public meetings and distribute leaflets after the ‘Run for Unity’ programme gets over, to aware people about the Modi government’s decision.

“We hope that senior party leaders address these meetings,” said a third Delhi BJP leader. 

BJP-AAP war of words

After the Cabinet’s decision, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri called the move a “Diwali gift” that will enable the residents of the unauthorised colonies to register their properties, avail loans, and ensure infrastructure development and civic amenities that have been missing in those colonies for years.

The Cabinet decision, however, triggered a war of words between the BJP and the AAP, which claimed credit for the move.

Kejriwal claimed the roadmap for regularisation of the colonies was based on a proposal sent by the Delhi government, first in November 2015 and then in July this year.

Union minister and BJP’s Delhi election in-charge Prakash Javadekar, on the other hand, had slammed the Congress and the AAP for not taking any concrete steps for the residents of these colonies.

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