The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has criticised the announcement by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal of going on a hunger strike from 31 March over the sealing issue and termed it a "political drama" and shedding of crocodile tears.
"I assure you from my side that my party and government will do whatever is needed to put an end to sealing and to reopen shops that have already been sealed", wrote the Delhi Chief Minister.
Condemning the hardships the ceiling has imposed on traders, Kejriwal said, "The traders are on the verge of starvation and each shop is means of livelihood for many people". But, they are suffering due to sealing.
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The sealing drive was undertaken by the municipal corporations of the national capital on the directions of a Supreme Court-appointed committee in December 2017. He said that the people earn their money honestly, but their livelihood is threatened when the shops are sealed, so the best option will be to remove the anomalies in the bill and give them a respite. There is only one solution now. Hundreds of commercial establishments have been closed so far for non-payment of conversion charges and violation of the Delhi Master Plan.
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. "A bill has to be brought in Parliament to remove anomalies in the law and save traders from unemployment", he said. Coming to the Kejriwal's letter to Rahul Gandhi, the chief minister sought an appointment with him and said sealing of commercial establishments is driving lakhs of people unemployed. Previously Bandhs has been held in protest, the traders have also called for another bandh to protest sealing on March 13.
All major wholesale and retail markets of Delhi, including Connaught Place, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh, Sadar Bazar, Kashmere Gate, Bhagirath Place, Lajpat Rai Market, Khari Baoli, Naya Bazar, Kamla Nagar, Chawri Bazar, Nai Sarak, Khan Market, South Extension, Greater Kailash, Lajpat Nagar, Amar Colony and Defence Colony, would down their shutters on that day, the CAIT claimed.