NEW DELHI: The blame-game continued between the ruling AAP and BJP over unpaid salaries to civic body employees in Delhi. On Monday, BJP councillors in three civic bodies alleged the AAP-led Delhi government was not releasing funds for the staff salaries. The AAP, on the other hand, blamed the BJP-ruled civic bodies for the delay in wages. Protesting at Delhi’s Civic Centre along with scores of municipal employees, the party extended its support to the Delhi Municipal Corporation employees who staged a protest for the delay in salaries.
“Release their salaries within one week. If you cannot run the MCD, then please resign and hand it to AAP. The BJP should stop misleading people. The employees have not got their salaries for the last six months,” said AAP’s MCD in-charge Durgesh Pathak.
Delhi BJP chief Adesh Kumar Gupta joined the party protest at the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NMC) headquarters in which senior functionaries of the three civic bodies -- mayors, deputy mayors, and chairmen of the standing committees --were present. They attempted to march to the secretariat, but were detained and released later.
The employees have been organizing daily sit-ins at the NMC headquarters, the Civic Centre, against the delay in payment of their salaries. As Gupta tried to share the stage with the agitating employees being supported by the Aam Aadmi Party, he was booed.
Executive member of the Confederation of MCD Employees Union, Mukesh said the employees would not allow any politics over the issue. “We want a fixed date for our salaries every month,” he said.
North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash had said on Friday that he would lead a march with all the employees from the Civic Centre to the Secretariat. However, he couldn’t join after testing Covid positive on Monday. AP Khan, convener of the employees association, said Gupta had come to support the proposed joint march, but was turned back by the employees.
Gupta hit out at AAP leaders for playing petty politics by trying to create confusion, and blaming it on the BJP and other corporation’s functionaries.“It is sad that though sanitation workers and other employees are risking their lives by working in the containment zones, they have to take the protest path for getting their salaries. The ruling AAP is insulting the hard work of these workers,” Gupta said.
On the other hand, Durgesh Pathak, member of the political affairs committee of AAP and in-charge of municipal corporations, accused the BJP of muzzling the voice of the protesting staff. AAP national spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said, “BJP should hand over MCD to Aam Aadmi Party, under the leadership of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, we will give salary to all employees of MCD. Together we will run the MCD very well.”