Senior BJP councillors, including the mayors of two municipal corporations (South and East) of Delhi, protested outside chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence on Friday, asking the government to release the pending dues as per the recommendations of the Third Delhi Finance Commission. They also demanded the implementation of the Fourth Delhi Finance Commission’s report. The protest came on the back of strike by MCD sanitation workers of East Delhi Municipal Corporation for non-payment of salaries.
The councillors gathered outside the CM’s residence at 9am, seeking an appointment to present their views on the issue. “But we got to know that the CM is in Punjab for poll campaign. Unfortunately, he is not bothered about the garbage crisis in Delhi and is busy in election campaigns in other states,” said Jitender Chaudhary, standing committee chairman, East Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Unable to give their representation, agitated councillors started protesting outside the CM’s house. They also carried placards and raised slogans against the AAP government. They protested for about an hour after which 120 BJP councillors were detained by the police. “Police took us to neighbouring civil lines police station. We were relieved from police station after 15 minutes,” said Vijay Prakash Pandey, leader of house, North Corporation.
The tussle between civic bodies and state government over funds started after sanitation workers went on strike over non-payment of salaries for three months. The North and East corporations still need ₹75 crore and ₹441 crore respectively, to release the pending salaries of staff.
“They are not issuing us funds under non-plan head which is our right as per DMC Act. Out of 10.5% we are given 9% or less money every year by the state government. By not releasing funds, they are waiting for things to get worst,” said Subhash Arya, leader of house, South Delhi Municipal Corporation. The government on the other hand has said that it had already given the civic bodies more than they were due.