Delhi: The BJP on Friday announced its "commitment" to regularise weekly markets of street vendors and hawkers, hours before the culmination of campaigning for civic polls. Addressing a press conference, National Spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said that except the BJP, other parties focused on street vendors and hawkers only at the time of elections and later forgot them.
Talking about street vendors Bhatia said, "We want to make it clear that we stand with them. It has been their demand to be regularised. Taking cognizance of their demands, we are saying it today with full responsibility that it is their right to be regularised. The BJP is committed that street vendors and hawkers are regularised and self-dependent," he said.
In June 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi started the PM SVANidhi scheme to provide financial assistance of Rs 10,000 to each street vendor in a move aimed to ensure their self dependence. Bhatia said that besides the 11 zones in Delhi where night bazaars would be held, special mahila (women's) bazaars will also be organised.
The BJP spokesperson also assured protection to street vendors from extortion and promised to provide them with other facilities. Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, Leader of Opposition in the Delhi Assembly, said after the announcement of the Pradhan Mantri Swanidhi Yojna, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had promised to provide Rs 20,000 to each street vendor.
"Not a single street vendor was given Rs 20,000 by the Kejriwal government," he charged. Elections to the 250-ward Municipal Corporation of Delhi are due on December 4. The votes will be counted on December 7. Campaigning for the election ends on Friday evening.
(With inputs from PTI)