Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led municipal corporations of “extorting money” in the name of ongoing sealing drive in the national Capital.
Speaking during the discussion over the sealing drive in the Assembly, Sisodia said the BJP’s intent behind the drive is to “extort money” and blamed it for the inordinate delay in notifying the roads under commercial or mixed-use category. Blaming the BJP legislators for disrupting the proceedings of the House, he said that the BJP is running away from discussion because it has “cheated the traders” and is “minting money” in the guise of sealing drive.

“We will answer your every question and let the people of Delhi know who are actually behind the sealing of shops and properties in the city, but you are only disrupting the House to get away with the discussion,” Sisodia said in response to the oppositions demand for a discussion on 351 roads which are to be notified under commercial and mixed-use category.

AAP legislator Saurabh Bhardwaj said that in the past 12 years, the municipal corporations have collected a whopping amount of Rs 1,000 crore in the name of “conversion charge” from the traders and businessmen in the city.

Bhardwaj , who is also chairman of Petitions Committee, said that the commissioners of the three municipal corporations should be called to the Assembly on Wednesday and asked to give details of the conversion charges collected over the past 12 years.

Bhardwaj said that if the commissioners were not able to pull all the data in the next two days, then they should be given a 15 days time to come up with details.

The sealing drive, which started last month, has been undertaken by the BJP-led municipal corporations on the instruction of a Supreme Court-appointed monitoring committee. More than 50 commercial units in the Defence Colony market were sealed for allegedly not depositing conversion charges under provisions of city’s Master Plan 2021.