Kejriwal backs striking workers, AAP leaders clean garbage (Roundup)

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday supported striking sanitation employees of Delhi’s three main civic bodies seeking salaries as AAP leaders cleared garbage from across the capital.

“I support (the) demand of protesting MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) employees that they should get their full salaries,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader tweeted. “I hope some solution will emerge” after Tuesday’s hearing on the issue in the Delhi High Court, he added.

The president of the Mazdoor Vikas Sanyukta Morcha, Sanjay Gehlot, however told IANS that the strike by sanitation workers will continue till their demands were met.

“We are going to meet Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung on Monday afternoon to discuss the whole issue,” he said.

Sanitation workers have been on strike demanding immediate payment of salaries and pending back wages. In some areas, they have not only refused to clear garbage but have littered it on the streets.

While Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia cleaned the garbage in his assembly constituency Patparganj, Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra swept the streets in Karawal Nagar, both in east Delhi.

Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel also led a team in Shahdara area in east Delhi to clear the garbage littered on the streets.

Other AAP legislators and residents undertook cleanliness drives in various residential areas.

“The AAP is of the view that any part of Delhi cannot be allowed to remain dirty. It is shocking the civic agencies – the three municipal corporations – have failed in their primary and obligatory duty of keeping the city clean,” it said in a statement.

“Due to largescale corruption and mismanagement, the three MCDs have financially and functionally collapsed. The corporations are even unable to explain how they have spent the planned and unplanned budgetary grants provided to them by the Delhi government,” the party said.

“It is condemnable that despite having received the entire budgetary amount before time and having been given the concession by the Delhi government of not seeking any repayment of the Rs.6,000 crore outstanding loan and even the interest amount from the MCDs for the current financial year, these corporations instead of paying their employees salaries have provoked them to go on strike.”

The Delhi government on Saturday formed a task force as part of special arrangements to remove garbage from across the national capital.

The public works department of the city government deployed 93 vehicles to clean the garbage dumps.

Health department workers of the civic body have also joined the protest, also demanding payment of salaries.

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain told the media that he met senior officials of the civic bodies to discuss the issues.

He said the workers had a right to get their salaries.

The civic body is divided into three zones, all run by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the AAP’s main rival in Delhi.

The BJP has accused the AAP-controlled Delhi government of starving the civic body of funds, leading to the present crisis. The Delhi government denies the charge.

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