Upping the ante against the AAP government, the three mayors of BJP-run municipal corporations in Delhi, who have been staging a sit in outside Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence for the last five days, said they would "run offices" from the protest site from Monday. The three mayors have claimed that Rs 13,000 crore in total was due to the north, south and east corporations from the Delhi government.
The AAP, however, said, "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". On Thursday, North Delhi Mayor Jai Prakash, South Delhi Mayor Anamika and East Delhi Mayor Nirmal Jain 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".
On Friday, they held another joint press conference and said, "All the three mayors will run their offices from the dharna site outside Chief Minister's residence from Monday". Prakash said till the chief minister of Delhi "does not release the dues of Rs 13,000 crore to all the three corporations, we will continue to sit on the dharna outside his residence".
In its statement, the AAP retorted the mayors were well aware that the Delhi government has "given all the funds due" and alleged it was because of their "corruption and inefficiency that the municipal corporations are facing financial ruin". "Since they have decided to only protest rather then govern, it is best that they resign and let the AAP run the municipal corporations. We will run the MCD efficiently and within the same budget," it said.
Earlier in October, the three mayors had staged a sit-in outside the CM residence on Flagstaff Road in Civil Lines, with the same demand. "On behalf of CM Arvind Kejriwal, his minister Satyendar Jain had assured us to release the dues in 10 days, but till date the outstanding money has not been given. We ended our dharna by believing Minister Satyendar Jain, but the Kejriwal government betrayed us," the North Delhi Mayor alleged.
"This time we will not end the dharna until the corporation gets the money for its its rightful fund," he said. Meanwhile, the wedding anniversary of a senior civic leader was marked at the protest site with a poster.