New Delhi: The agitating MCD staff on Wednesday refused to call off their strike even as the mayors of the north and east Delhi municipal corporations said they will accept the loan extended by the AAP government as a grant only.
"We do not want any loan. We want a permanent solution for timely payment of our salaries and other dues as well as unification of the three municipal corporations. Till these demands are met, we will continue the agitation," said Rajesh Mishra, president of United Front of Municipal Corporation Employees.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday announced extending a loan of Rs 551 crore to north and east Delhi municipal corporations facing financial crises to enable them pay salaries to their striking employees. He also announced release of Rs 142 crore of stamp duty to north corporation.
"The loan amount announced by Kejriwal is too little to solve the problem. The Central government should also come forward to end the crisis. We will continue our strike unless some concrete measure is taken to meet our demands," said Sanjay Gehlot, president of Swatantra Mazdoor Vikas Sanyukt Morcha.
The mayors of north and east Delhi said they will accept Rs 551 crore as a "grant" only because Delhi government is yet to pay Rs 3,000 crore to the municipal corporations under the Third Delhi Finance Commission.
"The loan being extended is blackmailing by Delhi government because East Delhi Municipal Corporation is not able to pay any interest. We will take it as a grant since we have not been paid as per the recommendations of the Third Delhi Finance Commission," said East Delhi Mayor Harshdeep Malhotra.
North Delhi Mayor Ravindra Gupta attacked Kejriwal for alleging financial bungling by the BJP-ruled MCDs.
"Payment of salaries of employees is our first priority. We will treat the loan offered by the government as a grant because it has failed to settle our dues," he added.
Gupta said he was not against a CBI probe into the functioning of the MCDs but an investigation should also be conducted into the allegations of graft against the AAP government.
A demonstration will be held at the Civic Centre and effigies of AAP and BJP will be torched tomorrow. Besides, a protest will also be staged in Geeta Colony, said the strikers' leaders.
The Commissioners of the east and north Delhi municipal corporations appealed to the striking employees to call off their protest in the interest of people of the city and said they are in the process of getting funds for their salaries till January.