AAP ropes in 30,000 people for padyatra; alleges scam of Rs 2,500 crore in BJP-led municipal corporations
Expect your locality in Delhi to be swarmed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has about 25,000-30,000 volunteers roped in for a ‘padyatra’ on 22 December. This is to spread word about the BJP-led municipal corporations’ alleged Rs 2,500 crore scam. According to AAP leader and MCD in-charge for the party, Durgesh Pathak, these volunteers will reach every locality.
“At every ward, it (the padyatra) will start at 10 am, covering every street and home”, Pathak says. This doesn’t mean they will call on every home, though. “They may not go knocking on every door, but they will cover every locality in the 272 wards of Delhi,” he added.
The AAP leader does not admit the smooth movement of traffic will be affected. He maintains that the yatras will not take place on the main road, so it wouldn’t lead to road blocks. AAP, which has already passed a resolution in the Delhi Assembly demanding a CBI inquiry into the alleged scam, hopes to make the issue a massive one. And the drive, while expensive, will be a little step into the party’s original roots of wanting to head anti-corruption movements.
The Rs 2,500 crore scam claim comes after both the parties have been warring over the responsibility of funds to municipalities which has claimed low funds as the reason behind non-payment of wages to employees on time.
The North MCD allegedly waived off almost Rs 2,500 crore (Rs 2,457 crore) off rent due from the South MCD for office space it occupies. The two MCDs along with the East MCD incidentally also held a 13-day sit-in protest outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s home demanding they be paid Rs 13,000 crore which they claim to be due to them. They also blame the Delhi government and their non-compliance in giving funds to the municipal corporations as the reason why they haven’t been able to pay their staff in months.
At the same time, the confederation of MCD employees unions has decided to go on an “indefinite strike in the North MCD, South MCD and East MCD for non-payment of pending salaries, and pensions” from 7 January 2021. They will also hold a day-long protest on 24 December. This agitation comes over a month after it ended its strike, when assurances were given of pending salaries being paid by November.