- Arvind Kejriwal wants Rahul Gandhi's help in trying to stop sealing drive
- He asked Rahul Gandhi to bring a law in parliament to stop sealing drive
- This is the first time Mr Kejriwal reached out to Mr Gandhi
Traders have called for a shutdown next week to protest the sealing drive that forced closure of nearly 400 shops in Lajpat Nagar and Greater Kailash on Thursday.
Mr Kejriwal has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to quickly enact a law to shield small commercial establishments running out of residential areas from the sealing drive.
"The traders are on the verge of starvation and each shop is means of livelihood for many people," Mr Kejriwal told PM Modi. He said a gap in the existing laws had led to the present crisis and so, "it is the responsibility of the Central government to remove these anomalies," the chief minister said.
A second letter to Rahul Gandhi suggested the AAP government did not expect the BJP-led national coalition to act on its own.
"I request you to strongly raise this issue in parliament and force the centre to pass a bill over it," he said.
"This is an issue on which we need to rise above politics," Mr Kejriwal added, underscoring that sealing of small shops in the capital was directly linked to the livelihood of lakhs of people in Delhi.
It is not clear how the Congress will respond to Mr Kejriwal's request.
AAP, which recently got three members elected to the Rajya Sabha, has largely been out of the informal, joint opposition front led by the Congress at the centre.
AAP had first come to power in 2013 on the back of a massive anti-corruption campaign that largely targeted the Congress. That government didn't last long because the AAP didn't want to depend on Congress support and called for fresh elections. After a spell of central rule, AAP rode back to power in 2015 with an outsized majority that reduced the Congress to the third spot.
Congress has since then, been a bitter critic of the AAP government as well, also because they are often seen to be competing for support from the same voter base.