Mayors of municipal corporations ending a hunger strike by taking juice offered by cabinet minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta, outside the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in New Delhi.(Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)
Mayors of municipal corporations ending a hunger strike by taking juice offered by cabinet minister Hardeep Singh Puri and Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta, outside the residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, in New Delhi.(Raj K Raj/ Hindustan Times)

Delhi MCD mayors call off strike after 13 days

Union minister Puri said that the chief minister should have at least met the protesting MPs once to listen to their demands.
By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 19, 2020 08:29 PM IST

The 13-day strike called by BJP mayors demanding the release of Rs 13,000 crore in dues from the Delhi government was called off on Saturday with union minister Hardeep Singh Puri offering fruit juice to the protesting lawmakers. The MCD mayors and 22 councillors from the Bharatiya Janata Party were protesting outside the chief minister’s residence for almost two weeks.

The mayors were also observing a hunger strike since Thursday demanding a response from chief minister Arvind Kejriwal regarding their grievances. Union minister Puri said that the chief minister should have at least met the protesting MPs once to listen to their demands.

“These mayors and leaders were not protesting for themselves or the party, they were protesting because dues of Rs 13,000 crore have not been paid and the salaries of the sanitation workers and other employees of the municipal corporations are affected,” Puri was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

He also requested the chief minister to understand the concerns raised and find a solution to the problems faced by the residents of Delhi. The Delhi BJP has also said that the agitation demanding the dues from the Delhi government will continue in other forms.

Delhi MCD mayors had already begun working from the protest site and also warned the Delhi government that if dues remain unpaid, then the city may face a sanitation crisis. North Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Jai Prakash on December 14 said, “The three corporations have 70,000 sanitation staff, and we lift close to 10,000 metric tonnes of waste and 100 metric tonnes of biomedical waste. But we have not been able to pay them on time. Does the AAP government want a sanitation crisis in the midst of a pandemic... Our sanitation and medical staff will go on strike if we don’t release their salaries.”

The strike was also called off as three councillors North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash and South Delhi Mayor Anamika Mithilesh along with former South Delhi mayor Sunita Kangra who were on a hunger strike were asked to hospitalize themselves.

On Friday, the Delhi High Court had asked the Delhi police to ask the protesters to vacate the area in front of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s house in Flag Staff Road, Civil Lines after residents raised concerns regarding movement within the area and blocking of roads.

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