Rahul eyes Delhi now; backs striking safai karmachari

Rajat Kain

garbageRahul Gandhi is continuing with his aggressive posturing as a politician with an unstopping spree of public appearances aimed at two pronged strategy to reach out the voters as well as to launch a scathing attack on the ruling governments, both at the centre and at the states which are ruled by non-Congress parties.

Barely a night after he concluded his two-day Chhattisgarh visit, Rahul Gandhi held another public meeting at the capital’s Jantar Mantar. Here he addressed the striking sanitation workers (safai karmachari) entangled in a salary row with their employer MCD and even with the Delhi government.

“You are not just the sanitation workers but the army of this city…Please unite for your cause. Me and Congress party is behind you,” Gandhi said amid the cheers and applause of Congress members and the striking workers.

He took a swipe at the Central government for its policies and dubbed the claims made by them about the “development” as false.

“The central government and the PM keep seeking your votes and support. They keep saying that they will do the development but when we ask about what has been done, we get no answer from them,” he said addressing the gathering.

The sanitation workers of 18 unions across the city have been agitating seeking the settlement of salary dispute and also regularisation of their contracts with the MCD. Earlier this month, the union of East District MCD had gone on strike leaving the garbage amassing on the streets. Though the garbage was cleared after several rounds of talks between the striking unions and the MCD, the larger issue is yet to be resolved.

“Where ever you feel I am needed, howsoever small the matter, be it your salary, your contract terms I am behind you,” Gandhi lent assurance to the striking safai karmachari.

Currently, the Delhi government and Centre is locked amid the tussle over the issue of releasing the funds for Delhi’s trifurcated municipal committees- East District MC, North District MC and South District MC. AAP party rules Delhi government and the combined MCD is ruled by the BJP and both are yet to break an impasse to resolve the issue with the striking sanitation workers.