Kejriwal calls all-party meet on sealing issue

New Delhi: Stressing the need to “rise above politics”, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today called for an all-party meeting at his residence on Tuesday to find solutions to problems being faced by traders because of an ongoing sealing drive in the national capital.

Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken thanked Kejriwal for the move, while the BJP said it would decide on its participation after consulting state unit chief Manoj Tiwari, who is currently abroad.

“We should rise above politics and come together to find a solution to the problems that have risen due to sealing,” the chief minister said in letters sent today to Tiwari and Maken.

Maken, who had written a letter to Kejriwal on Saturday, offering to share with the chief minister what he felt could be a solution to the drive, thanked him for accepting his request.

Praising Kejriwal for inviting the BJP, which rules the three Delhi municipal corporations carrying out the drive, the Congress leader expressed the hope the saffron party would participate in the meet.

The situation demands “positive politics”, he said.

The Delhi BJP said Tiwari was abroad as part of a delegation accompanying President Ram Nath Kovind and would be back by March 15.

An office-bearer of the party said a decision on Kejriwal’s invitation would be taken after a consultation with Tiwari.

Kejriwal also suggested that not more than three people from each party be present at the meeting for its smooth functioning.

In January, Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta had alleged that Aad Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and workers had “misbehaved” with members of a BJP delegation at Kejriwal’s residence when they had gone there to discuss relief to traders hit by the sealing drive.

A case was registered in the matter and some AAP MLAs were booked.

The Delhi chief minister had yesterday written letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi seeking appointments with them to discuss the sealing issue and stressed the need to bring a Bill in Parliament to stop the drive.

The sealing is being undertaken by the municipal corporations on the directions of a Supreme Court-appointed committee. Hundreds of commercial establishments have been closed so far for non-payment of conversion charges and violation of the Delhi Master Plan.