Rahul Gandhi meets striking sanitation workers in Delhi

Mr. Gandhi said the Delhi govt. and the Centre had been passing the buck over releasing funds to the financially unstable municipalities.

June 12, 2015 11:32 am | Updated April 03, 2016 03:13 am IST - NEW DELHI

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi met striking sanitation workers in East Delhi on Friday morning and assured them of his support for their stir for wages.

The workers of the East Delhi Municipal Corporation have been on strike since June 2 as they haven’t been paid their salaries for April and May. Mr. Gandhi joined the workers sitting on a dharna outside the EDMC’s headquarters in Patparganj.

Addressing the workers, Mr. Gandhi said the Aam Aadm Party-ruled Delhi Government and the BJP-led Centre had been passing the buck over releasing funds to the financially unstable municipalities.

“You won’t get the solution by asking the government. It will happen by showing your strength. I will sit on dharna with you if you want for 10 days. We must show the strength of safai karamcharis,” said Mr. Gandhi.

With the BJP-ruled municipal corporations struggling to pay salaries, the Opposition Congress has accused the Centre of cutting funding for the ailing civic bodies.

Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay said Mr. Gandhi was “just playing politics”.

“He has forgotten that it was the Congress-led UPA at the Centre that curtailed the powers of the municipal corporations. As far as the salaries are concerned, the AAP Government has not released funds,” said Mr. Upadhyay.

On Monday, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had announced to an audience of sanitation workers from the North and East Delhi corporations that the government would release Rs.500 crore for their salaries.

However, corporation officials say the funds are yet to be received. Meanwhile, thousands of tonnes of garbage have overtaken the streets of East Delhi as residents are forced to dump trash on the roads.

( With inputs from Jatin Anand )

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