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Khurana to wage "lone" struggle to rescue commoners, traders

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 16: Senior BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana today expressed disillusionment with his party's inaction on the MCD demolition drive in Delhi and threatened to wage a lone struggle against the move which had ''rendered commoners homeless and traders and hawkers jobless''.

''Today, when I see all these demolitions in Delhi, I want to do something for the people of the capital. I am pained to see the lack of concern among those in the Delhi BJP as well as those at the national level for the common people of Delhi and the small traders who today are living under the constant fear of either being uprooted from their homes or having themselves divested of their sources of livelihood,'' Mr Khurana told reporters here.

Mr Khurana said he had, in a letter to BJP national president Rajnath Singh, sought the support of the party for stopping demolitions and sealing of shops in Delhi.

He, however, warned that of need be, he would, along with his other ''friends'' in the BJP, wage a lone struggle against demolition and sealing of shops.

Giving a two-day ultimatum to the party, he said, ''I have decided to give voice to grievances of people of Delhi and have taken a vow to fight for them. I shall declate my action plan after two days.'' In his letter to the BJP president, Mr Khurana said the atmosphere of fear in Delhi since December, when the demolition drive by the MCD started, reminded him of the situation in 1947 when he migrated to Delhi from his birthplace Lyallpur (Pakistan) at the time of partition.

''In December last year when the demolitions began in Delhi, various trade and labour organisations rang me up several times and requested me to save Delhi from destruction. They also asked me to call a 'Delhi Bandh'. However, when I sought the cooperation of the BJP Delhi president, his response was negative.

Even after the Delhi Pradesh Vyapar sangh gave a call for 'Delhi Bandh', the BJP state president supported only through newspaper advertisements with the result that the bandh was a complete flop,'' Mr Khurana said in his letter to the party president.

At the press meet, Mr Khurana regretted that the Delhi BJP did not lend support to his aide and MLA H S Balli's hunger strike last month over the demolitions of unauthorised constructions in Delhi following the orders of the High Court.

''All through the hunger strike by Mr Balli, not one person from the Delhi BJP came to meet him to lend support to his struggle. Instead, he was warned of expulsion if he carried on with his hunger strike,'' Mr Khurana said. In this context, he said former BJP president L K Advani, instead of embarking on an all-India rath yatra, should take out a similar yatra in Delhi to protest against the demolitions.

Claiming that he left the post of Governor of Rajasthan to work for the cause of people in Delhi, he said, ''Delhi is my temple and I cannot see its destruction before my eyes. Today the shopkeepers of Delhi and their employees are on the brink of being rendered jobless. But our leadership remains unmoved.'' ''I am feeling suffocated and cannot remain a silent spectator in the goings on. My conscience does not allow me to do this and I cannot turn my face away from the reality. So, I have now decided that the day the government action for sealing of commercial units begins, I, along with Mr Harsharan Singh Balli, will, if necessary, ourselves go and break the seals of the shops even if its means being arrested for defying the court orders,'' Mr Khurana said.

''I am ready to face any action for the cause of its people.'' Mr Khurana said he would, however, declare his action plan in two days, after waiting for the response of the party president to his letter.

He termed his resignation as Delhi Chief Minister ten years ago on Mr Advani's advice as the ''biggest mistake of my life''.

''Had I stayed on in the Chief Minister's seat at that time, all the problems confronting Delhi today, like the problem of unauthorised constructions, the commercial units and the shortage of drinking water would have been solved a long time ago.'' Speaking at the press meet, Mr Balli, endorsing the view of Mr Khurana, said, ''Unlike the present government, we would have approached the court to seek relief for the commoners and small traders.''


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