Kejriwal’s loan offer fails to end civic bodies’ strike

Kejriwal's bluff

New Delhi: Staffs of North Delhi Municipal Corporation, South Delhi Municipal Corporation and East Delhi Municipal Corporation — have been protesting against the non-payment of salaries, directing their ire at both the Delhi and central governments for the last eight days.

“We are giving Rs.551 crore to the north and east municipal corporations as loan for payment of salaries of workers,” Kejriwal said in Bengaluru, where he is undergoing treatment at a naturopathy centre.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation will also be paid Rs.142 crore against the stamp duty bill.

“It is with great difficulty that we have been able to find this Rs.550 crore for loan. The Delhi government is facing Rs.3,000 crore value added tax shortfall,” Kejriwal said soon after he announced about the loan.

The chief minister addressed a press conference over the issue in Bengaluru where he has gone for treatment.

“An impression is being created as if Delhi Government is responsible for the financial mess in the MCDs which have been ruled by BJP for the last 10 years. There are huge scams in MCDs. A situation is being created through the strike of the municipal workers to show that there is a crisis in Delhi.

“The Modi government has dictatorial tendencies. Someone told me they are trying to create a situation to impose President’s Rule in Delhi the way they imposed it in Arunachal Pradesh,” the Chief Minister said.

Exuding confidence about winning next year’s municipal polls, Kejriwal said the situation in the MCDs is such that they should be dissolved and fresh elections be held immediately.

He said the joint front of 19 Unions of MCD Employees have called for dissolving the civic bodies and bringing them under Delhi Government.

The strike by the sanitation staff of municipal bodies demanding payment of dues entered the eighth day today, crippling the garbage disposal system. They have been joined by teachers, doctors, nurses and contractors of the civic bodies.

Demanding a CBI probe into the affairs of MCDs, Kejriwal said “If CBI could probe us then why not the MCDs. We had ordered inspection of accounts of the civic bodies but they refused to cooperate.”

The Chief Minister said his government has allocated double the amount of funds to the three civic bodies in the current fiscal compared to the previous year which, he alleged, has been diverted. (IANS)