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Manish Sisodia writes to Amit Shah after Lt Governor blocks unlock 3 move


New Delhi, Aug 01: Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia wrote to Amit Shah Saturday requesting immediate directions to be issued to Lieutenant Governor to overturn his decision cancelling Delhi government's directive to open hotels and weekly bazaars.

Manish Sisodia

In his letter Sisodia said the Delhi government was preparing to re-send these decisions - the re-opening of hotels and weekly markets (the latter on a week's trial) - to the Lieutenant Governor's office on Tuesday and asked Shah to ensure that they were passed this time.

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"Coronavirus cases are steadily decreasing in Delhi and the situation is under control. Cases, however, are increasing in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, but over there hotels and weekly markets are allowed to function," Manish Sisodia pointed out.

"It is inconceivable why a state that did a better job of bringing the coronavirus outbreak under control is being forced to shut down its economy," he said.

"I request that you change this decision and instruct the Lieutenant Governor to immediately approve the Chief Minister's proposal," Sisodia wrote.

On Friday Baijal, who represents the centre and chairs the Delhi Disaster Management Authority, ruled that hotels and weekly markets could not be re-opened.

Sources in his office told news agency PTI the decision had been taken because the COVID-19 situation in the national capital was still "fragile" and the threat is "far from over".

The ruling AAP (Aam Aadmi Party), which has frequently clashed with the centre and Baijal over the Covid crisis, demanded non-interference in its decisions. The party pointed out that active infections were on the decline and that it was time to focus on the economy.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Baijal has scrapped a number of orders pitched by the Delhi government.

Last month, he cancelled a controversial decision to reserve hospitals (except those run by the centre) for residents of Delhi. He also reversed a decision to test only those people with symptoms, saying asymptomatic cases and high-risk contacts would also be tested.

This is not the first time during this pandemic that the Delhi government has appealed to Amit Shah. In June Sisodia wrote another letter, asking him to roll back a central order requiring all Covid patients in the city to visit a quarantine centre for evaluation.

That central order came a week after yet another flashpoint between Baijal and the Delhi government - over mandatory five-day quarantine for all patients. That directive, issued by Mr Baijal himself, was withdrawn after massive protests by the ruling AAP.

Delhi has more than 1.35 lakh COVID-19 cases so far, including nearly 4,000 deaths linked to the virus. However, it has only 10,500 active cases and a recovery rate that is significantly better than the national average (around 84 per cent compared to 64 per cent).

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