Hours after Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal blamed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) — a Central government agency — for the demolition of a church in South Delhi’s Chattarpur area, the Congress lashed out at him, accusing the Aam Aaadmi Party of playing a silent spectator to the partial demolition of the religious institution.
Addressing a press conference in Panaji on Wednesday, All India Congress Committee (AICC) national spokesperson Shama Mohamed also said that the demolition was carried out without giving notice to the church authorities.
“BJP and AAP are two sides of the same coin, and both of them spread hatred and encourage communal divide for their selfish political gains. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lied to the Goans on the church demolition in Delhi,” Mohamed said.
“The DDA has two AAP MLAs, one BJP MLA and three BJP corporators as members. We hold both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal responsible for the demolition, which was a completely illegal and insensitive act,” she said.
Mohamed also questioned the silence of AAP MLAs Dilip Pandey and Somnath Bharti on the demolition issue.
“The lone BJP MLA, O.P. Sharma, also remained a silent spectator in the illegal act of demolishing a religious structure,” Mohamed said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Kejriwal, who is on a two-day visit to Goa, said that the Delhi government had no role to play in the demolition of the church in Chattarpur.
“It was done by DDA, which is under the Central government. DDA is not under Delhi government. It perhaps went to the high court which gave an order after which the DDA has taken the action. Our local MLA is with the church and we are providing the support required,” Kejriwal said in a media interaction in Panaji.
He also promised to “study” the issue and said that “justice will be done” in the matter.
A portion of the church was demolished earlier this week over alleged encroachment issues during a demolition drive, even as members of the church claimed that the demolition was illegal.