‘Both the AAP and the BJP are to be blamed for this. Why didn’t they request the court to consider the humanitarian aspect of these poor people?’


New Delhi: The Delhi Congress is likely to file a review petition in the Supreme Court in the coming days against the apex court’s order to remove around 48,000 juggis-jhopris around the railway tracks in Delhi.

Former Delhi Congress president Shubash Chopra told The Sunday Guardian, “The Congress will fight for the rights of these thousands of jhuggi-jhopri dwellers who have been rendered homeless by the Supreme Court’s order. We will file a review petition in the Supreme Court and would request the court to consider humanitarian grounds and the rights of these people.”

Shubash Chopra also blamed both the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi and the BJP for the “mess” that they have created for the poor jhuggi dwellers of Delhi.

“Both the AAP and the BJP, which is at the Centre, are to be blamed for this. Our simple concern is why neither of them requested the Supreme Court to consider the humanitarian aspect of these poor people. Railway is under the Central government and they were keen to get these people removed. During this pandemic time when there is already large-scale unemployment, where will these thousands of people go? We cannot let them sleep on the streets,” Chopra said.

The Congress also attacked the AAP and BJP for failing to fulfil their promise of giving out pucca houses to these jhuggi dwellers. “Both the parties during the elections have always promised to these poor people that they will get a house if their party comes to power, but nothing has happened on the ground. Only talks and no action is not the kind of politics that people of Delhi like,” Chopra said.

The Sunday Guardian reached out to AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha and Saurabh Bharadwaj for their comments on the story multiple times; however, till the time of going to press, neither of them responded to our queries. The BJP, however said that it is the responsibility of the Delhi government to provide rehabilitation to the affected people and the party would ensure that no one is left in the lurch in the absence of a house.

Former Delhi BJP President and MP from North East Delhi Manoj Tiwari told The Sunday Guardian, “The Delhi government should facilitate and ensure that all these 48,000 affected households are rehabilitated at the earliest. The AAP government has three months’ time and there are 50,000 houses lying vacant in Delhi, why is the AAP not talking about allotting these houses to these affected people? The BJP will ensure that the affected people are rehabilitated and no one is evicted in a way that will affect them.”

BJP leader and Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta told The Sunday Guardian that both the AAP and Congress are playing politics with the lives of poor people and it is the responsibility of the state government to rehabilitate them.

“The AAP government should facilitate the rehabilitation of these people. Why is the Congress blaming the BJP? They were in power for 10 years in Delhi and at the Centre, what have they done then for these people? Both are now shedding crocodile tears and the reality is different,” Gupta said.

The Supreme Court earlier this week ordered the removal of 48,000 slum dwellings situated around the railway tracks in the national capital within a time period of three months.

On 31 August, a Supreme Court bench of Justices Arun Mishra, B.R. Gavai and Krishna Murari directed that jhuggis or “encroachments” in safety areas near railway tracks “be removed within a period of three months and no interference, political or otherwise should be there”.

The court has also restricted any other court to grant a stay on this order.