NEW DELHI, February 8, 2024—Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Shri Arvinder Singh Lovely today convened meetings of the farmers of Delhi, unauthorized sector, Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) and traders at the DPCC office, Rajiv Bhawan, here today to discuss their problems and take their suggestions/ complaints to be included in the Congress manifesto for the coming Lok Sabha elections.
The general refrain in all the three meetings were that after the BJP came to power at the Centre, the interests of the farmers, labour, RWAs and traders were overlooked, and their demands were rarely ever taken into consideration while making policy decisions. As a result, the interest of the people was compromised while the ruling BJP only tried to protect its narrow political interest.
Besides Shri Arvinder Singh Lovely prominent others present at the meeting were Central Manifesto Convenor and former Deputy Chief Minister of Chattisgarh Shri T.S.Singh Deo, member Shri Amitabh Dubey, Ex MP Ramesh Kumar, Ex MLAs Anil Bhardwaj, Vijay Lochav, Surender Kumar and Neeraj Basoya, MCD incharge Jitender Kumar Kochar, DCC president Adesh Bhardwaj, Harnam Singh, Dr. Naresh Kumar, Bhagidari Cell Chairman Ashok Bhasin and Shri Parveen Rana.
Shri Lovely said that though 197 out of 365 villages in Delhi carry out extensive agricultural activity, the BJP Government, with the collusion of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), was forcefully acquiring their land by giving very nominal compensation, and the land thus acquired remain unutilized for several years, or usurped by land sharks with the villagers making no gains from the acquisition of their agricultural lands. He said that the long-standing demand of increase in Circle Rate has not being heeded by the ruling parties, and the provisions of the 2041 Delhi Master Plan should not be violated while acquiring farm lands, to protect the interest of the farmers.
Shri Lovely said that though unauthorized colonies were in existence for over four decades, these colonies were still lacking in basic facilities like schools, water, paved streets and roads, and the DDA was putting impossible restrictions on them in their daily lives. He said that for potable water, people in unauthorized colonies still depend on the tanker mafia, and these concerns of the unauthorized colonies would be given prominent position in the Congress manifesto.
Shri Arvinder Singh Lovely said that if the DDA does not utilize the acquired farm land during a stipulated period, then the acquisition can be scrapped. He said that the Congress manifesto will protect the interest of the farmers, and the 197 villages where agricultural activity is still being carried out on a large scale to cater to the population of the Capital. He said that Congress will also ensure sufficient compensation to the farmers while acquiring their lands, hike in the Circle Rate and MSP (Minimum Support Price), mutation, giving plots to over 20,000 farmers still in the backlog, basic facilities in the villages, land allocation to the existing dairies etc.
Shri Lovely said that the BJP Government had betrayed the traders as its promise of “one nation, one nation” with the implementation of GST only crushed businesses as it imposed heavy tax burden on the people, adversely affecting businesses in the process. He said that the BJP Government was only aiding and helping a chosen few rich industrialist friends while small and medium traders and business people were battling an existential crisis.
Shri Lovely said that when Congress was in power in Delhi for 15 years, the suggestions and opinions of the RWAs (Residents’ Welfare Associations) were sought and implemented to ease the living conditions of the people while the present Governments have totally neglected the opinions of RWAs. He said that decisions taken unilaterally were forcefully imposed on the RWAs without any discussion.