Centre, Kejriwal just making empty promises: Rahul

Centre, Kejriwal just making empty promises: Rahul

 Rahul Gandhi today attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, saying change cannot be brought by merely making promises and alleged that poor were being deprived of their rights in the name of development.

Putting his weight behind sanitation workers from civic bodies agitating for payment of salary dues at Jantar Mantar here, the Congress Vice President sought to link their demands with the "honour" of the poor and said he would stand by them for any cause to put up a united fight.

"This is not a fight for Delhi's cleanliness, a fight for the country's cleanliness. This is a fight for your honour. I wanted to bring some of my strength amongst you.... Together we will show what your strength is," he said, offering his unstinted support for the oppressed sections of society.

Attacking the Prime Minister and Delhi CM, he said, "Modiji and Kejriwal think that after merely making promises they can bring about a change. No change can be brought by making promises. A change can be brought only after standing here and exerting pressure."

Addressing the safai karamcharis for the second time in six days, he said, "You may think I have come to speak for safai karamcharis. These speeches are for the poor farmers, labourers, safai karamcharis and all those weak and oppressed of the entire country."

Vowing to fight for the rights of weaker sections, which the party is keen to woo back, Rahul said, "I am standing with you, whereever  you want. For one day, 10 days, 50 days or 100 days."

He said whereever they wanted, he was available for the smallest of issues - be it their salary, contract labour or their honour.

Earlier talking about his Chhattisgarh tour, where he undertook a 'padyatra' for the rights of farmers and tribals, he said while the rich snatched away the land of the poor for earning big money in the name of development, they only paid a paltry amount to them.

"When we ask how would this benefit the poor, they have no answers. We do not want such development," he said.

"I saw the coal mines in Chhattigarh for the first time in my life. I also interacted with the poor farmers and tribals of the area. I was told that an industrialist earns Rs one crore per day after leasing a mine for 30 years. They earn so much after snatching away the land of poor farmers and tribals for amounts as little as Rs 50,000 or Rs one lakh.

"When poor people raise questions, they talk of doing so in the name of development," he said.

Rahul also talked of land acquisition in Uttar Pradesh's Bhatta Parsaul, where he undertook a 'padyatra' in favour of farmers' rights.

Land of the poor farmers was snatched for creating Formula One circuits in the name of development, he alleged.

"Big people have taken away the land of poor farmers and developed Formula One tracks where cars zoom past at 400 km per hour and they say they have done so for development," he said.

The agitation was organised by Joint Front of MCD Unions of Safai Karamcharis, where Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken and Congress leader Sajjan Kumar were also present.
The protesters burnt effigies raised slogans.

"We have not been getting our salaries for last three months. Kejriwal came to power by making several promises to us, but what is happening now you know very well. We are not even able to pay school fees of our children," said Ravi Shankar, a sanitation worker who works with EDMC.

Joint Front of MCD Unions of Safai Karamcharis has threatened to go on an indefinite strike if their demands are not met.

"We have called a meeting of all sanitation workers' associations on Friday to discuss future course of action. We want a permanent solution to our problems," said an office bearer of the Joint Front of MCD Unions.

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.

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung recently announced that Rs 493 crore would be released to the civic bodies to cover the dues of sanitation workers, but most sanitation workers claimed they have not got their salaries so far.

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