Want salary? Show country your shakti: Rahul’s advice for Delhi’s striking sanitation workers

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June 12, 2015

NEW DELHI – In a dramatic speech, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday addressed the sanitation workers of the East Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) who are still on strike and told them to show their 'shakti (power)' to the state and central government.

June 12, 2015

NEW DELHI – In a dramatic speech, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Friday addressed the sanitation workers of the East Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) who are still on strike and told them to show their 'shakti (power)' to the state and central government.

"You are not just sanitation workers. You are soldiers of an army," Rahul Gandhi told the protesting MCD workers.

The Congress vice-president interacted with the striking workers of East MCD at Patparganj, where its office is located, and said he was ready to join their dharna.

The workers have been on a strike since 2 June to protest against non-payment salary dues, leading to piling of garbage on streets which is causing inconvenience to residents. The MCD workers have not received their salaries for two months, according to CNN-IBN.

"When the MCD workers demand their salary from the Delhi government, the state government tells them it is the Centre's responsibility. When they go to the Centre, it says the state government is responsible. Both the state and central government are only making excuses," Gandhi said.

"I will take up the responsibility of the salaries of MCD workers," he said. "Women sitting with me said that tall promises were made to them and yet, they are stuck where they were," he added.

"You will not get anything from the government. You have to show this country your 'shakti'," Gandhi said. "If you show your 'shakti' to the government, everything will be done in five minutes."

"I want to give whatever strength I have to you. I have time. You tell me and I will stay here for one, two or even 10 hours…I can be here for 15 days if you want. This step you have taken is in the right direction. You will not get anything by asking," he said.

BJP's Satish Upadhyay, however, was dismissive of the Congress Vice President's meeting. He said, "As always, Rahul Gandhi is doing politics and is pretending to care for the country. It was the Congress government earlier which had taken away the powers of the MCD."

Gandhi's speech supporting the MCD workers comes as the Delhi High Court later on Friday directed the Delhi government to release by 15 June the salary dues of East MCD employees, according to PTI.

The High Court also issued a notice to Centre, Delhi government and East MCD on pleas seeking removal of garbage and payment of salaries to the civic body staff. The court said that the garbage issue in East Delhi has reached alarming proportions and directed the Delhi Police and East MCD to hold a meeting for ensuring its removal.

According to reports, Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung also met the three Mayors and Commissioners of the MCD on Friday and informed them that the Delhi government would release Rs 493 crore for the sanitation workers later on Friday.

Both North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) are cash-strapped, unable to pay salaries of many employees. A section of the striking sanitation workers have lately been protesting against the AAP dispensation after the corporations held Kejriwal government "responsible" for their financial woes.

Kejriwal had announced that his government will release pending salaries of sanitation workers, doctors and teachers of two municipal corporations for April and May.


Courtesy: PTI

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