Mayors and a few senior leaders of Delhi's three BJP-led municipal corporations on Thursday went on an indefinite hunger strike outside the Chief Minister's residence, to demand release of funds "due to the civic bodies". The dharna by the municipal leaders seeking release of funds entered its eleventh day as they refused to budge.
"I and the mayors of North and South corporations, along with leaders of the House and standing committee chiefs of the three civic bodies, and a few more members are on indefinite strike to press for our demands," East Delhi Mayor Nirmal Jain said. Jain, along with North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash and South Delhi Mayor Anamika, begun his hunger strike around noon.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader and New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi during a press conference at the party's headquarters here, hit out at the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government over the civic funds issue. She also claimed that allegations levelled by the AAP, of misappropriation of Rs 2,500 crore by North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), was "wrong".
"The Delhi government owes Rs 13,000 crore to the three corporations… The Rs 2,500 crore scam being alleged through posters put up on walls, carry no name or photo, and no one taking any responsibility for these accusations," Lekhi said. "And, Delhi farmers have not even got MSP (minimum support price)," she alleged.
The three mayors have claimed that Rs 13,000 crore in total is due to the NDMC, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation from the Delhi government. Last week, the three mayors had held a joint press conference at the sit-in site and said the protest "will continue democratically, so that we can pay salaries to corporation employees on time".
From Monday morning, the three mayors had started "running their offices" from the street-sides. Senior BJP leader Vijay Goel on Tuesday had met the mayors of the three municipal corporations and extended support to their sit-in.
The AAP has hit back, saying, "Even the mayors of BJP-ruled MCD know that their protest is only an excuse by their high-command to harass CM Arvind Kejriwal and distract from the issue of nationwide farmers protests".