‘Loans of rich would have been waived but no money for sanitation workers’: Árvind Kejriwal slams Centre

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New Delhi | Updated: October 8, 2018 10:21:07 PM

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday slammed the Centre, saying it would have "immediately waived loans" of "a few rich people" but not giving money for poor municipal sanitation workers who were on strike for the last three weeks.

Arvind Kejriwal, EDMC, Delhi government,  Supreme Court, Manoj Tiwari, Delhi Assembly The BJP accused the Kejriwal of “lying” over the funds given by the Centre to the EDMC. (PTI)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday slammed the Centre, saying it would have “immediately waived loans” of “a few rich people” but not giving money for poor municipal sanitation workers who were on strike for the last three weeks. The BJP accused the Kejriwal of “lying” over the funds given by the Centre to the EDMC. The sanitation workers of East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC) went on strike on September 12 demanding payment of their dues including salaries and regularisation of contract-based workers. The Delhi CM claimed the municipal corporations have to be paid Rs 5000 crore by the Centre.

“Last week Delhi government on the advice of Supreme Court paid Rs 500 crore to the MCD. The Centre today denied to pay Rs 500 crore, despite advice of the Supreme Court, although it has to pay Rs 5000 crore to the MCD. Is BJP responsible to Delhi like this? Then why should Delhiites vote for you (BJP) in LS election,” Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi.

“It is so sad. If it were loans of a few rich people they (Centre) would have done it immediately but not paying money for sanitation in Delhi and poor sanitation workers,” he said in another tweet. Leader of opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta charged Kejriwal of lying on the issue. “Delhi Chief Minister has lied big that EDMC was given Rs 950 crore. The reality is Rs 350 crore of this amount is loan on which Delhi government is charging interest at 10.50 per cent rate from the helpless EDMC,” Gupta said in a tweet.

The Delhi government has “deliberately hidden” the facts and it is “dishonest” on its part to project “inflated figures” as grant-in-aid which in fact include loan amount and interest thereon, the BJP leader said Senior AAP leaders Dilip Pandey and Atishi Marlena also attacked Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, saying his mathematics was “weak” and he should apologise for saying that Delhi government was paid Rs 48,000 crore by the Centre.

“Tiwari’s mathematics is weak. If he has any papers in support of his claim he should show us,” Marlena said. Recently, Tiwari had stated in a tweet that Delhi government which was getting Rs 36,776 crore from the Centre in 2014 was now getting Rs 48,000 crore from it. “The Delhi government received only Rs 325 crore from the Centre while it paid at least thrice the funds to EDMC in comparison to what was being paid to it in 2013-14,” the leaders said.

The civic body got Rs 287 crore in 2013-14 and Rs 396 crore in 2014-15, Marlena claimed. “However, the Kejriwal government gave Rs 948 crore to it in 2016-17 and in the current year, Rs 772 has been given so far,” she said. Pandey reiterated Kejriwal’s claim that Centre has to pay Rs 5000 cr to the municipal corporations. “The Centre pays Rs 488 per person to the municipal bodies in the states but the same was denied to Delhi on the pretext that it was a union territory,” he said.

The Delhi government recently had told the Supreme Court that it would release Rs 500 crore within two days to civic bodies, which will help resolve the crisis that has arisen due to the ongoing strike by sanitation workers of the EDMC. On October 4, the sanitation workers had protested outside Kejriwal’s residence over the issue. The EDMC has around 16,000 workers, half of whom are permanent employees. On September 26, it had decided to begin the process for permanent employment of contractual sanitation workers who were recruited after March 31, 1998.

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