In a move to show support to the striking sanitation workers in the capital, Rahul Gandhi on Friday launched a scathing attack on the Centre and the Delhi Government for “failing to deliver” on their “tall promises” and accused them of passing the buck.
While interacting with the striking ‘safai karamcharis’ of East Delhi Municipal Corporation in Patparganj, Rahul Gandhi assured them of Congress’ support in their protest for wages.
“By sitting with you, I am also adding my little strength to it. I have time. You tell me and I will stay here for one, two or even 10 hours. This step you have taken is in the right direction. You will not get anything by asking. You have to organise and show your strength,” Rahul said addressing the protesters.
The Congress vice-president took the opportunity to attack the Centre and the Delhi government.
“You go to the Delhi Government, it says Centre is responsible. You go to the Centre, it says Delhi Government is responsible. “These are all excuses and you will not get anything till you show your strength. And I want to make it clear that I will take your responsibility.”
Later in the day, the sanitation workers called off their strike after 12 days. They were protesting over non-payment of salary dues, which resulted in the garbage crisis in the city. Heaps of garbage was not being cleared from the city streets.
The sanitation crisis took the shape of a tussle between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP. The AAP government alleged that he BJP government at the Centre did not release funds, a charge that BJP quickly refuted.
Addressing the sanitation workers, Rahul egged them on and said that he is ready to come and protest with them even for 15 days.
“You are going to get nothing from the governments, be it the Centre or Delhi,” he further added.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court came down heavily on the state government and directed it to release the salary dues of East MCD employees by June 15 so that the East Delhi Municpal Corporation could pay its employees. The High Court also warned of a health epidemic in the city.
Both North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) are cash-strapped, unable to pay salaries to its employees.
Even as Rahul attacked the Centre and Delhi Government, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung announced that Rs 493 crore would be released for the civic bodies to cover the dues of sanitation workers. This only after Mayors of three BJP-ruled municipal bodies and the Congress requested his intervention.