New Delhi, Jun 24 (PTI) The Delhi BJP today alleged that the AAP was indulging in “cheap political gimmicks” over the sensitive issue of felling of trees after its government issued necessary permission for it for the re-development of residential facilities for central government employees.Also Read - UP Rains: 24 Dead in 3 Days as Walls, Houses Collapse Due to Heavy Rain in Uttar Pradesh

“It is sad to see cheap political gimmicks being played in such a sensitive issue by the Delhi government after it issued permission to fell trees,” Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said. Also Read - AAP's Raghav Chadha Calls Navjot Sidhu 'Rakhi Sawant of Punjab Politics', Triggers Outrage

Tiwari said that he belonged to an agrarian family and the news reports of felling of trees and ‘Chipko’ movement-type agitation by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had disturbed him a lot. Also Read - First Visuals of Ram Temple Site in Ayodhya Showcased, Check Latest PICS Here

“It is sad that for sheer politics of Kejriwal Party is belittling the piousness and significance of Chipko Andolan, which was run to save the green character of an entire terrain, by comparing it to the present situation where the green character of the area will not be disturbed except for in a very small area,” according to a press statement issued by the party.

The BJP president said, “…I firmly believe existing green cover should not be cut until inevitable.” “It was Delhi government which gave the mandatory permission for the felling and replantation of trees as required under law in full knowledge of the minister concerned, Imran Hussain, and therefore the ongoing drama by the ruling party is nothing more then a cheap gimmick,” he said.

“The project authorities have ensured that almost three trees shall be planted for every one tree cut and most of these new planted trees will grow up in two years by the time the project completes,” he said.

Tiwari said that yet a delegation of the Delhi BJP would soon meet Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri and request him to see that as many trees as possible are spared from cutting or are transplanted in the vicinity and new trees are planted before the start of monsoon.

“Delhi BJP strongly condemns the dirty politics of gimmicks being played by Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party in this matter,” he added.

Locals, activists and environmentalists protested today against the government’s order to fell over 14,000 trees for the re-development of seven south Delhi colonies.

About 1,500 protesters hugged the trees in Sarojini Nagar, launching their own “Chipko Movement”, a forest conservation movement where people embraced trees to prevent them from being cut in Uttarakhand (then Uttar Pradesh) in the 1970s.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.