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Delhi CM Kejriwal postpones hunger strike over sealing issue

PTI | New Delhi |

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has postponed the hunger strike that he had announced earlier this month, saying he would sit on fast if the ongoing sealing drive was not stopped in the city by March 31.

According to the Aam Aadmi Party, the Supreme Court is going to hear the sealing matter from April 2 on a day-to-day basis and the AAP government has appointed two advocates in the case.

Saurabh Bharadwaj, the chief spokesperson of AAP’s Delhi unit, said that the chief minister took the decision to defer his hunger strike after he was appealed by several trade associations and lawyers that his fast could “annoy” the court, which could adversely impact the outcome.

Addressing traders in Amar Colony on March 9, Kejriwal had announced that he would go on a hunger strike if the issue of the ongoing sealing drive against commercial establishments in Delhi is not resolved by the end of this month.

“The chief minister has been appealed by several trader associations and also advised by some lawyers that when the matter is in the court and the court is going to hear it on a day-to-day basis, CM’s fast could annoy the court, which could adversely impact outcome. They urged CM to postpone his decision,” he said in the statement.

The party, however, said that the chief minister has decided to “closely monitor” the situation and has thus postponed his decision for the moment.

The Delhi government has been opposing the sealing drive against commercial establishments for allegedly violating civic norms following the directions of the Supreme Court-appointed Monitoring Committee since December last year.

Earlier this month, Kejriwal had held an all party-meeting with the Monitoring Committee to find out a solution to sealing drive. The chief minister had also called an all party-meeting at his residence, even as the BJP had boycotted it.