Hailing the Centre’s decision to regularise unauthorised colonies in Delhi, the BJP on Wednesday said it was the “biggest gift” to the people ahead of Diwali.

Union minister and BJP’s Delhi election in-charge Prakash Javadekar said it was a “historic decision” by the Modi government.

Attacking the Congress and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party, Javadekar said the two parties took no concrete steps to give any relief to the residents of these colonies.

“Now the DDA will complete all the formalities. This Diwali, (we) will give ownership rights to lakhs of people. The truth is, this is possible only because of Modi (Modi hain toh mumkin hain),” Javadekar said at the Delhi BJP office.

Union Health Minister and senior Delhi BJP leader Harsh Vardhan said “a new era” was ushered in today with the decision of the Union Cabinet and it would go “a long way” in providing a better social environment and infrastructure to the residents of unauthorised colonies.

“The decision of regularisation of unauthorised colonies and conferment of ownership rights is historic as such bold decision has been taken today which will go a long way in protection of the properties of poor people in unauthorised colonies and a hanging sword over their properties shall become a thing of history now,” Vardhan said in a statement.

Another senior BJP leader Vijay Goel said that the Modi government has given the “biggest gift” to the people of Delhi on the occasion of Diwali.

“Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had been creating obstacles in regularisation of unauthorised colonies. The Centre will now do everything through the DDA. The Delhi government will have no role to play in it…,” he told reporters at the Delhi BJP office.

North Delhi Mayor Avtar Singh also welcomed the move and called it a “historic decision”.

“This is a big bonanza for people ahead of Diwali. People are celebrating as Diwali has come early for them,” he said.

The mayor claimed that most of the unauthorised colonies in Delhi fall in areas coming under the jurisdiction of the BJP-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to grant ownership rights to the residents of the unauthorised colonies, a move that will benefit around 50 lakh people.

Earlier, the Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri in a press conference said that the decision “is applicable to 1,797 identified unauthorised colonies” inhabited by people from lower-income groups.

The decision does not apply to 69 affluent colonies identified by the DDA, including Sainik Farms, Mahendru Enclave and Anant Ram Dairy, the minister said.