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BJP Demands Walia's Resignation

New Delhi, Nov 18:  BJP today demanded resignation of Delhi Finance Minister A K Walia for his alleged links with Amritpal Singh, owner of the collapsed building in East Delhi, saying he should step down

PTI [ Updated: November 18, 2010 17:38 IST ]
bjp demands walia s resignation
bjp demands walia s resignation

New Delhi, Nov 18:  BJP today demanded resignation of Delhi Finance Minister A K Walia for his alleged links with Amritpal Singh, owner of the collapsed building in East Delhi, saying he should step down to ensure an impartial inquiry.

Senior BJP leader V K Malhotra alleged that Walia knew the arrested builder and he must resign following "serious allegations" by Singh that he had informed the Minister about accumulation of water in the building.

"The owner of the building has said that he had informed Walia about the condition of the building. These are serious allegations. Even Walia had admitted that accumulation of water weakened the building leading to its collapse," Malhotra said.

Walia last night had dismissed the allegations as "mischievous" and said he had not met Singh "in recent months" and hence the question of the owner informing him of accumulation of water in the building does not arise.

Accumulation of flood water in the basement has been identified as one of the reasons for collapse of the building in east Delhi's Lalita Park on Monday night in which 70 people have lost their lives.

"The allegations are far away from truth," Walia had said.

Claiming that he followed all rules in construction of the five-storeyed building, Singh reportedly said he had told "ministers personally about the details of the building."

Expressing satisfaction over appointment of a judicial probe, Malhotra, however, said BJP will corner the government over the issue in the winter session of the Assembly beginning Tuesday.

"Primarily Delhi Government is responsible for the mishap as its Flood Control department and Delhi Jal Board totally failed to drain out the flood water from the area which weakened the building leading to its collapse," he said.

Asked whether BJP-ruled MCD was responsible for the incident as checking unauthorised construction falls under its domain, he said, if found guilty, officials from the civic body should also be punished.

He indicated that BJP may demand that a House Committee probe the incident.

Amid growing public outrage over the collapse, Delhi government yesterday appointed a one-member judicial commission to probe the incident.

Over 60 families, mostly labourers from West Bengal, were living in the cramped quarters of the 15-year-old building where an illegal fifth floor was under construction.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit  said the one-member judicial commission set up to probe the collapse will find out what led to the incident and suggest measures to overhaul the system which can act as a "deterrence" against such tragedies.

"We will also go into all other aspects like who all were responsible for such a tragedy and who all were responsible for allowing a three-storey building to have five storeys. When all these will come out, we can find a solution," Dikshit told reporters.

She said she will wait for the outcome of the probe before taking action against any officials involved in the incident that took place in Lalita Park in Laxmi Nagar on Monday night. Seventy people were killed in the mishap.

"Let us find out who is responsible. Who is that person," she said, adding the commission will submit its report within three months.

While a blame-game has already begun between MCD and Delhi Government with both passing the buck to each other over the tragedy, Dixit said "what is essential is accountability. There is connivance."

She said local bodies like MCD is responsible for giving no-objection certification, passing the building plans, examining lands and the landowners.

When asked to comment on owner of the building Amritpal Singh having taken name of one her Ministers, she asked "do you believe him?".

The Chief Minister said occupants who have been asked to evacuate immediately from dangerous buildings "will be given some place to stay".

"At this moment we cannot find buildings or camps but we have homes where will accommodate them," she said.  PTI

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