Civic employees continue strike, Kejriwal seeks fresh MCD polls (Evening Lead)

New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) Striking employees of Delhi’s three civic bodies on Thursday continued their agitation over non-payment of salaries, with sanitation workers dumping garbage outside Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s office, even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sought fresh election to the three Municipal Corporations of Delhi.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader, who is undergoing naturopathy treatment for his chronic cough in Bengaluru, said the present MCD, controlled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), should be dissolved and fresh elections held.

“Management of an organisation which can’t pay salaries to employees doesn’t (have the right) to continue,” Kejriwal tweeted.

Over 1.5 lakh workers of the three wings of MCD, Delhi’s main civic body, began a three-day strike on Wednesday over non-payment of salaries.

All the three wings of the MCD — South, East and North — are controlled by the BJP, the AAP’s main rival in Delhi.

The MCD says the Delhi government, which is led by the AAP, owes money to it but is not paying up, and this is why salaries are not being paid to corporation employees.

The striking sanitation workers dumped garbage outside Sisodia’s camp office building in east Delhi.

“Many workers are not being paid their salary for two-to-three months. Despite several appeals, our demands are not considered,” said Sanjay Gehlot, president of the Mazdoor Vikas Sanyukta Morcha.

Gehlot warned of an indefinite strike if their salaries were not paid.

“Now it’s (Transport Minister) Gopal Rai’s turn. We will dump garbage outside his house tomorrow (Friday),” he added.

Denying the charge that the AAP government owes money to the civic agencies, Manish Sisodia too echoed Kejriwal’s demand.

“No money of MCD is due against Delhi government. Leaders of the civic bodies are telling a lie and are getting the garbage dumped outside my (camp office),” he said.

“BJP leaders are not able to run the MCD. So we want the central government to dissolve it and conduct fresh elections,” he added.

“We have already given money to MCD for 12 months. The MCD did not give us an account of the money spent. We should be told where that money has gone….”

The employees are seeking payment of arrears, regularisation of employees who have been working on contract, and merger of the three corporations.

In October last year, the sanitation employees of East Delhi Municipal Corporation went on strike for similar demands.

The MCD is the biggest of the three civic bodies in Delhi. The other two are the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), which oversees the heart of the capital, and the Delhi Cantonment Board.

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