AAP MLAs pick up brooms as sanitation strike enters 5th day

AAP MLAs pick up brooms as sanitation strike enters 5th day

AAP MLAs pick up brooms as sanitation strike enters 5th day

Delhi Ministers and AAP lawmakers today launched a cleanliness drive in their respective constituencies and said they will not let the people live amid garbage heaps in the national capital as the strike by civic sanitation workers entered its fifth day.

The sanitation workers for their part maintained they will continue with their protest until their "just" demands were met. They warned that the situation in the national capital may "deteriorate" after the government engaged PWD teams in the cleanliness drive.

Accusing AAP and BJP of "fooling" the people, Congress workers took to the streets in 14 of its organisational districts in Delhi and asked the AAP government to show a "large heart" by releasing funds which would facilitate the resolution of the crisis.

"We have already paid them (corporations) funds for clearing salaries. We cannot let people live amid garbage. Hence, we have undertaken the cleanliness drive," Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.

Taking part in the drive in his Patparganj Assembly constituency, Sisodia said the PWD is working "round-the- clock" in each city ward to ensure cleanliness.

Also, more than 2,000 Delhi Jal Board workers teamed up with PWD workers for the cleanliness drive.

The deputy chief minister attacked the BJP-led civic bodies as he referred to allegations of "salary scam" in the corporations. He said the government is looking for a "permanent solution" to the problem.

Besides Sisodia, Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra, PWD Minister Satyendra Jain and Assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel participated joined in the cleanliness drive in their respective constituencies.

Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lauded PWD men for working "whole night" to remove garbage. He also asked AAP functionaries to join the department staffers in lifting the filth.

The PWD men had swung into action after the state government formed a task force for each district yesterday.

Meanwhile, Rajendra Mewati, general secretary of the United Front of MCD Employees, warned that the situation may "deteriorate" if the government continues to engage PWD workers.

"The situation may deteriorate if the government continues to engage PWD workers in cleaning the city when sanitation workers are on an indefinite strike," he said.

Swatantra Mazdoor Vikas Sanyukt Morcha president Sanjay Gehlot accused AAP of being "anarchist" and added that his outfit will continue with the protest.

"The government should release emergency funds to end the strike," he said, adding that workers attached to the Morcha will stage protests outside Mishra's residence tomorrow.

The Congress attacked both BJP and AAP over the issue, saying the two parties were "fooling people".

Slamming AAP for allegedly cutting the budgetary allocation for payment of sanitation workers' salaries, Congress said the ruling party should show a "large-heart" for bringing the "crisis" to an end.

"AAP government has brought down budgetary allocation for municipal corporations from 9.3 per cent during our dispensation to 5.98 per cent now. And, it has increased the budget for its self-promotion," said Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said.

Maken also targeted the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for picking the "already smart" New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area under 'Smart City' project while ignoring the municipal corporations.

The former Union Minister said that Delhi government engaging PWD personnel to ensure cleanliness was not a "permanent solution" to the crisis.

Delhi government had yesterday deployed hundreds of PWD workers to lift garbage in the city as nearly 60,000 sanitation workers continued their strike.

The sanitation workers are on an indefinite strike since January 27 over their demand for timely payment of salaries and clearing of arrears.