As MCD employees, including teachers and sanitation workers, protested against yet another salary delay, both BJP and AAP held protests against each other on Monday for “failure” to pay staff. All three MCDs are governed by BJP while AAP is at the helm in the state. Salaries of every section of corporation workers — commissioners, engineers, technicians, sanitation staff, doctors, teachers and nurses — have been delayed by a month to four months.
While AAP leaders protested outside the Civic Centre in “solidarity” with workers protesting inside, BJP leaders marched to the Secretariat alleging that the government had not paid the civic bodies its dues.
AAP MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak, who took part in the protest at the Civic Centre along with several councillors, and was later detained by police, alleged the BJP had spent Rs 11,000 crore last year which was meant for salaries of their employees.
He said, “In the last few months, workers deployed under the BJP-led MCDs are not getting paid and are unable to afford food. How do they continue working without pay? Last year, the BJP-led MCD spent around Rs 11,000 crore. Where did all that money go?”
Leading the march to the Secretariat, Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta said it was “very sad” that workers who risked their lives in containment zones and being on Covid duty now had to protest to get salaries. “Leaders of the ruling AAP are insulting the hard work of sanitation workers by calling Delhi a dirty city. Health workers or teachers of corporations have all worked day and night in the corona period since March to deliver food and medicines to millions of people. Today, they are compelled to protest,” he said.
BJP and AAP have been at loggerheads over the issue for the past four years. BJP has accused AAP of not paying their dues under the finance commission while AAP has maintained they have paid their share but corruption in MCDs is responsible for the current state.
AAP MLAs Atishi and Raghav Chadha also said that if MCD is unable to pay their employees, BJP should resign. “AAP will run the MCD in the same budget, will pay every employee and will also keep Delhi clean,” Atishi said.
Gupta said AAP leaders were trying to create confusion: “Revenue has not been coming in as people are not in a position to deposit property tax, conversion charge and various other corporation taxes. Instead of supporting the economic situation of MCDs, Delhi government ministers and AAP leaders are doing petty politics and trying to create confusion by accusing the BJP and corporation office bearers of corruption.”
Congress, meanwhile, hit out at both parties, with its leader Mukesh Goel saying it was a shame that BJP and AAP, who are jointly responsible for paying employees, are protesting.
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