Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday said the “thekedari” system is inhumane and has to end. Addressing labour bodies on the occasion of Labour Day at the Constitution Club, he said that “it was the poor, not the rich” who voted him into office, but the BJP-led Centre always created obstacles for pro-poor measures that his government wanted to implement.
“The thekedari system must end. It is inhuman, against the law and constitution, yet it continues. If Delhi was a full state, we would have ended it in 10 days and regularised all contractual labourers. Unfortunately, my hands are tied,” Kejriwal said.
He said the existing system of hiring contractual workers, which continues even in government bodies, results in the exploitation of workers. “We raised the minimum wage to Rs 13,500. Many have started getting their wages, but I still see that there are many contractors who don’t pay their workers the right amount,” he said, adding that the HC was yet to decide if the Delhi government could take action against erring contractors.
“I am certain the court will rule in the workers’ favour and when it does, I will be on the street myself to catch any offenders,” he said.
Hitting out at the BJP-led Centre and L-G Anil Baijal, he said the government had lost half a year to raise the minimum wage due to bureaucratic hurdles, adding that he was willing to keep fighting since “the rich didn’t vote for me, the poor did.”
The government’s focus, he said, was to ensure that children of labourers have a better life.
“They don’t have to become labourers. That is why we are working tirelessly to improve the condition of government schools in the capital… The Delhi government will give your children a good education free of cost,” he said.