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Congress demands enactment of Street Vendors Act

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New Delhi: Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) chief Ajay Maken today sat on a day-long hunger strike to demand the enactment of the Street Vendors Act, 2014.

Alleging that street vendors are being forced to pay bribe to run their trade and livelihood, Maken demanded that the Act be passed within two weeks or the party will stage a protest outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence.

“The street vendors of Delhi will take their fight to the doorstep of Delhi Chief Minister if the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 is not implemented within two weeks,” said Maken.

Maken, who was joined by AICC chief P C Chako and the members of Delhi Rehri Patri Evam Asangathit Kamgar Congress, said the party will make all possible efforts to protect the rights of street vendors.

“Congress party will empower the rehri-patri unions in their fight for justice, and to free them from harassment by the police and the municipal authorities,” he said.

He further alleged that the Delhi government was not providing licenses to the street vendors who are entitled to it.

“Over 5 lakh street vendors of Delhi have not yet been issued licenses despite the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 passed by Parliament on March 5, 2014 under the UPA government,” he said.

Expressing concern about the plight of street vendors, he said, “Over 2.5 crore families, numbering 15 crore people, are directly involved in street vending, with the cities alone accounting for one crore street vendors, government is showing this callousness in implementing the Act.”

“The AAP government in Delhi has not taken any steps to implement this historic Act. Congress agitation will continue till the street vendors were meted out justice,” he said.

Accusing the BJP-led Central government and the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi of playing blame games, rather than focusing on governance, Maken said, “The constant battles between the BJP and the AAP governments have put over 5 lakh street vendors of Delhi through insufferable miseries, as they should have been issued licenses by now.