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Demonetisation: ‘48.63 lakh in unorganised sector could lose jobs,’ claims Ajay Maken

New Delhi: As many as 48.63 lakh workers in the unorganised sector in the national capital may become unemployed due to “faulty implementation of demonetisation” and they have already started going back to their home states, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken claimed.

A march will be held on 24 December from Jantar Mantar to Parliament House by Delhi Poorvanchal Congress, in association with Delhi Parvatiya Congress and Delhi South Indian Congress, to highlight the plight of migrant labourers due faulty implementation of demonetisation, he said.

“48.63 lakh unorganized/informal workforce in Delhi consist of first-generation migrant labour. After faulty implementation of demonetisation, reverse migration has begun in Delhi,” Maken alleged.

File photo of Delhi Congress Chief Ajay Maken. Reuter

File photo of Delhi Congress Chief Ajay Maken. Reuter

“Lakhs of labourers have already returned to their homes, and around 15,000 labourers are returning to their homes from Delhi every day, which is stalling development works in the national capital,” he claimed.

The Delhi Congress chief said he had written a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 9 December to draw his attention towards this issue and had asked him to take steps to stop reverse migration of this informal workforce.

Claiming that he has not received any reply from the Chief Minister, Maken said the Delhi Government has not taken any steps to implement his suggestion that Rs 5,000 be given to these labourers as monthly unemployment allowance, which is nearly 50 percent of minimum wages.

“Major projects in Delhi have come to a standstill as labourers are not getting their daily wages due to the cash crunch. The daily earning of rickshaw pullers have also come down sharply. “If steps are not taken immediately to stop reverse migration of the informal workforce, it will take a long time for Delhi to come back to its normal routine,” he claimed.

Quoting a survey on employment by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO), Maken said as per the 68th Round, between 2011 and 2012, the working population of Delhi was 57.06 lakh. “The data of Directorate of Employment, Delhi Government reveals that the total                                                                                                              number of workers in the organised sector was 8.43 lakh in 2009. This figure has remained almost consistent in the last one decade,” he                                                                                                              said.

First Published On : Dec 18, 2016 19:13 IST

Bird flu scare hits event to mark Indira Gandhi’s death anniversary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bird flu crisis in the capital seems to have affected the top brass of the Congress. Earlier, the party’s top leaders had chosen Shakti Sthal to commemorate the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on October 31. However, the death of two birds at the venue on Tuesday has led to a change of plans.”The venue for the commemoration event has been changed from Shakti Sthal to the office of Delhi Congress Pradesh Committee on Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg near Minto Road,” said Delhi Congress spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee on Friday.She added, “The decision was taken to avoid any risk of bird flu.”Sources in the Congress say the party has decided to organise a special march to commemorate the death anniversary of Indira Gandhi. The march, which will be attended by all the Congress Working Committee (CWC) members and All India Congress Committee General Secretaries, will include Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi.The march, which will start from Congress headquarters, will conclude at Safdarjung Road bungalow where Indira Gandhi was assassinated. The march is expected to start at 7.30 am, followed by a small function inside the Safdarjung Bungalow.Shakti Sthal is the memorial site for Mrs Indira Gandhi, thereby prompting the party to have the commemoration there. It has been the venue for various Congress functions in the past. In fact, the party celebrates Martyrs’ Day on October 31.The Delhi Government had on Tuesday closed Shakti Sthal to the general public, keeping in mind the death of two birds in a suspected case of avian influenza. Top Delhi government officials say that the pond area has been cordoned off, as a precautionary move.”We have sent the samples from these birds to establish the actual cause of death,” said a government official.The bird flu incident first came to light on October 14, and since then a total of 75 birds have been found dead across the capital. However, Delhi government officials say that so far only three cases have been attributed so far to the virus. They add that they have received no report of the other samples sent for bird flu testing.The government had since then had shut down Delhi Zoo and Deer Park in Hauz Khas as a preventive measure after the death of many birds were found there.Delhi development minister Gopal Rai had also issued an 11-point advisory to city residents, asking them to take full precaution when dealing with birds. The government has also asked the people to ensure that they do not consume raw meat or half-boiled eggs.Rai had, however, also added that the lab reports received so far had indicated the presence of H5N8 among the birds, which is not harmful to humans.

Chikungunya outbreak: Ajay Maken terms Satyendar Jain insensitive for calling the disease ‘non-fatal’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid debate over whether chikungunya can lead to death, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken on Sunday said Health Minister Satyendar Jain’s statement that people cannot die of chikungunya “shows his insensitivity and ignorance”. Jain has been reiterating that “as per medical literature chikungunya cannot cause death, and has accused media of spreading panic.””At a time when people are dying of chikungunya, the statement by the health minister that people cannot die of chikungunya shows his insensitivity and ignorance,” Maken said while launching a fogging drive by Delhi Pradesh Traders Congress here.At least 15 fatalities have been reported at various hospitals due to chikungunya complications, including a 22-year-old girl who died of a cardiac arrest triggered by chikungunya complications at Hindu Rao Hospital.”According to the 2015 report of WHO (World Health Organisation), 191 people in North America and South America had died of chikungunya,” Maken said, and asked, “whether people should reject the report of one of the key members of the UNO (United Nations Organisation) like the WHO, which said that people have died of chikungunya in America.” Doctors say that chikungunya is not a life-threatening disease in general, but in rare cases leads to complications that prove fatal, especially in children and elderly persons.The committee set up by the Delhi government to review cases of death attributed to dengue and chikungunya complications has “ruled out” chikungunya as the primary cause of fatality and said it was “co-morbid conditions” in its patients which led to their deaths.Taking pot-shots at the Kejriwal government, Maken said over 30 lives have already been claimed by chikungunya and dengue, and crowded hospitals in Delhi are “putting 3-4 people on one bed”. He alleged that the condition of the mohalla clinics was “equally bad” as these clinics open only for four hours daily, and doctors and medicines have become “scarce” there.Hitting out at the AAP government, Maken said the Delhi government has “woefully failed” to provide health care to the people at this critical time, which is a “violation of the Right to Life”, guaranteed in the Constitution. Delhi government, however, has asserted that adequate measures were in place, and “people should not panic”.

Congress leader moves HC against ‘wastage of taxpayers’ money’ on AAP govt ads

New Delhi: Congress leader Ajay Maken on Tuesday moved Delhi High Court alleging that the AAP government had indulged in “large scale wastage of the taxpayers’ money” on its political activities by launching a massive advertisement campaign to glorify its one year in power.

The application, seeking to restrain Arvind Kejriwal-led government from publishing or airing any advertisements and promotional campaign outside Delhi, also sought direction to it for launching campaigns in Delhi only, and that too in a cost-effective manner and in conformity with the guidelines of the Supreme Court.

The petition was mentioned before a bench of justices B D Ahmed and Sanjeev Sachdeva which listed the matter for hearing on Wednesday.

Advocates Aman Panwar and Mudit Gupta, appearing for the Delhi Congress chief, told the court that the GNCTD has failed to allocate adequate resources for salaries of the poor employees and sanitation workers of municipal corporations.

Delhi High Court. File photo. AFPDelhi High Court. File photo. AFP

Delhi High Court. File photo. AFP

“At this juncture, it is imperative to point out to this court that while the sanitation employees of Delhi municipal corporations had to indefinitely struggle and protest for weeks before the GNCTD to get funds for their salaries, at the same time the GNCTD has promptly sanctioned about Rs 100 crore for the purposes of anniversary and promotional campaigns of the party in power,” the application stated.

It alleged that the advertisments were published and aired in newspapers, TV channel and radio in and outside Delhi in violation of the government advertisement guidelines and sought appropriate action against the concerned officials “for the large scale wastage of the taxpayers money on political activities of the ruling party.”

Maken filed the fresh application in the ongoing PIL, which has sought the court’s immediate direction to restrain the “Delhi government from airing audio visual TV advertisement and also its recent advertisement” in Delhi and other states.

Earlier, the AAP government had on 3 August last year informed the high court that it had spent Rs 22 crore on advertisements in the three months after the apex court’s ruling of 13 May.

The Delhi government had, however, denied the allegation that huge amount of money was being spent on advertisements glorifying Kejriwal and the party and had said it was spending only Rs eight crore per month and that too on ads related to its policies.


Congress levels charges of corruption on Delhi environment minister

The Congress on Tuesday levelled serious allegations of corruption on Delhi environment minister Imran Hussain based on a sting operation carried out by the party. The Aam Aadmi Party government will be completing a year on Sunday.Talking to the press, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken screened the sting which shows a person demanding Rs 30 lakh bribe from a builder for regularising an illegal construction in Ballimaran area of north Delhi on his behalf.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The video shows a man seeking money from one Qaseem. Maken claimed the man was Hammad, an aide of Hussain. The man was also said that they had to pay to get an AAP ticket in the assembly elections.Hussain had denied the charges, saying the person shown in the video is a stranger. He also alleged that Maken has been paid to carry out the sting.”I have nothing to do with the sting. The allegations are totally baseless. If Maken can prove the charges, I will quit politics. He should quit politics, if he fails,” said Hussain, the Minister for Food and Civil Supplies, and Environment and Forests.Hussain took charges last year after his predecessor Asim Ahmed Khan was dismissed in October by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal over alleged graft charges.Maken said he would send copies of the video and audio clips to Kejriwal and CBI and demanded that the Delhi Minister resign immediately till an independent probe is conducted into the sting operation.”Hussain must resign and there should be a CBI probe into it,” he said.He added that if an impartial probe is held, Kejriwal too may come under the scanner as there have been charges of selling tickets during polls.

Congress delegation meets Rajnath Singh over crises in Delhi civic bodies

A delegation of Delhi Congress leaders on Tuesday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to take up the issues faced by civic employees, including sanitation workers, due to the financial crises in the municipal corporations in the national capital.Led by Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken, the delegation submitted a memorandum to Singh and apprised him of the crises affecting the North and East Delhi Municipal Corporations that had led to sanitation employees striking work. “The minister’s attention was drawn to the plight of the employees, particularly sanitation workers and other Class-IV workers who went on strike due to non-payment of wages,” Maken said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He charged that the “conditional” loan advanced by Delhi government to the north and east corporations would not bring a permanent solution to the problems facing the civic bodies, he said. “The home minister carefully listened to the views of the Congress delegation and promised to take appropriate action,” Maken said.In the delegation were Delhi Congress spokesperson Sharmistha Mukherjee and leaders of opposition in the north and east corporations, Mukesh Goel and Varyam Kaur, respectively.

Congress sting operation on AAP: BJP seeks Arvind Kejriwal’s resignation

BJP on Tuesday sought the resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over allegations of corruption against the office of Food and Civil Supplies Minister Imran Hussain following a sting operation.”Broadcast of a video-audio sting by a TV channel has exposed his (Hussain’s) corruption,” said Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay.The Kejriwal government has no “moral right” to stay in power as one after another of his ministers is found to be “involved” in “corruption and fraud”, the BJP leader said. Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta, also demanded that Kejriwal “dismiss” Hussain.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Watch the sting operation here- Watch: Congress’ sting operation claims AAP minister’s staff demanding bribe”The Chief Minister should immediately dismiss minister Imran Hussain in the light of the sting operation made public today,” he said while seeking a CBI inquiry in to the matter.In a video released today by Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken, a man is shown purportedly seeking money from one Qaseem. Maken claimed the man was Hammad, a staffer at Hussain’s office. The man was also heard saying that they had to “give money” to get an AAP ticket in the Assembly polls.

MCD strike: BJP asks Arvind Kejriwal to rise above party politics?

As the city reels under an indefinite strike by sanitation workers, Delhi BJP and Congress on Friday accused the AAP government of failing to “discharge responsibilities” and urged Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to rise above “party politics”.In an ‘open letter’ to the Chief Minister, Delhi BJP asked the CM to release Rs 3,000 crores to the three municipal corporations as per recommendations of 3rd Delhi Finance Commission (DFC).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The three BJP ruled corporations-EDMC, SDMC and NDMC- have high salary bills which are more than the non-plan fund given to them by Delhi government, the letter written by Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay read.”Delhi government must know the municipal corporations spend their fund not just on the pay and allowances but they also look into health services, primary education, midday meal, sanitation which come to about Rs 5,000 crore per annum,” Upadhyay said.The leader announced that the party workers and its different wings will take out a march from Nirman Vihar Metro in East Delhi to the Secretariat tomorrow, in support of the striking municipal employees’ demand for release of funds by the AAP government.Delhi Congress today accused both AAP and BJP for the “pathetic situation”, stating that people were suffering due to the parties’ “fight” and “irresponsible behaviour”. “For the first time since Independence, Delhi is facing such a pathetic condition due to the fight between AAP government and BJP led central government,” Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken said.”Both AAP government in Delhi and BJP government at the Centre have failed to take any step to end the strike causing suffering to the people faced with mounting garbage heaps in the national capital,” he said.When Congress was in power in Delhi, it had allocated adequate funds to municipal corporations. The employees never had to resort to strike to get their salaries and arrears, Maken said. “The then Congress government in Delhi had allocated Rs 3,128.16 crore to the erstwhile MCD in 2012-13 while AAP government allocated only Rs 2,457.84 crore to the three municipal corporations for 2015-2016, though the budget should have been around Rs 4,000 crore, as the expenses go up every year,” he added.

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