New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday reiterated his support for Delhi’s sanitation workers, saying he will give his “whole life” to fight for the rights of the under-privileged.
This was Gandhi’s second consecutive meeting with the sanitation workers at the East Delhi MCD office.
“I am not talking about sanitation staff alone but wherever the poor people are being suppressed. Wherever people in suit-boot or whether they are from Aam Aadmi (Party) are not doing their work, I will stand by them,” he said.
The Congress leader had met some of the sanitation workers on Friday and assured his full support.
“I stood with them and will stand with them in future also. I am ready to stand with them everywhere. I told them I will join them whenever they need me,” he said.
“Yesterday (Friday), I was with them for 15 minutes but I am willing to give hours, days, months, years and my whole life for them,” he said.
Gandhi accused the Centre and the city government of passing the buck.
“You keep the city clean… they are not bothered. If you go to the central government, it tells you to go to the Delhi government, who will again ask you to go to the central government… these are all excuses. I am with you… you call me and I will sit with you here even for 10-15 days,” he told the workers.
On Friday, as the strike by the sanitation workers was called off, the Congress claimed it was due to Gandhi’s intervention that Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung finally released money for their salaries.
“Rahul Gandhi has explicitly said Delhi’s safai karamcharis (sanitation workers) keep the city clean and they are like soldiers of an army,” Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said at a press conference here.
“Now that there is so much garbage on the streets, the ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ of the prime minister and the broom symbol of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal are not to be seen,” he said.
Over 15,000 workers were on strike for the last 10 days protesting non-payment of their salaries for over two months.
They called off the strike after Jung announced that he would release Rs.493 crore for their salaries.