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On Day 2 of auto-taxi strike, Arvind Kejriwal targets three: Najeeb Jung, BJP and police

The CM and Jain also accused Delhi Police of not acting against “BJP goons” who allegedly stopped autos and other passenger vehicles from plying.

Written by ANU RAJ RANA | New Delhi | Updated: July 28, 2016 5:27 pm
delhi auto strike, auto strike delhi, delhi, aap, aam aadmi party, delhi cm, delhi chief minister, arvind kejriwal, narendra modi, pm narendra modi, prime minister narendra modi, modi, pm modi, prime minister modi, delhi news, latest news, aap mla arrest, india news The deserted auto and taxi stand at Nizamuddin railway station Wednesday. (Express Photo: Tashi Tobgyal)

Though a number of autos and taxis stayed off the roads on day two of an indefinite strike against the Delhi government’s “silence” on reining in cab aggregators such as Ola and Uber, the participation in the protest seemed visibly weak Wednesday.

Transport Minister Satyendar Jain said 17 of the 25 unions had called off the strike following a meeting with him, even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung of “supporting the BJP” to “cripple” Delhi.

The CM and Jain also accused Delhi Police of not acting against “BJP goons” who allegedly stopped autos and other passenger vehicles from plying. “BJP goons stopping autos and taxis from plying. BJP wants to cripple del. Active support frm LG n Del police,” tweeted the CM. Jain tweeted, “Goons stopped autos and other passenger vehicles with BJP support. Why no action by Delhi Police.”

The unions on strike rejected Jain’s statement that 17 unions had called off their protest. Shyam Sunder, a member of the All Delhi Tempo Truck Owners Union, said, “Jain had called his party’s supporters to the meeting. These unions were not on strike in the first place, so, how can they call off the strike? The strike is very much on.”

Rajender Soni, general secretary of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, who staged a hunger strike with leaders of other unions outside Kejrwial’s residence Wednesday, demanding the CM take action against the App-based cab services, said, “Twenty-five union leaders who called the strike are sitting on hunger strike here with us. How is Jain claiming they have called off the strike? They are not with us. They are Jain’s people.”

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Kishan Verma, president of All Delhi Auto-Taxi Transport Congress Union, claimed the unions themselves had relaxed the strike. “We directed autorickshaw drivers to provide services to those in dire need, and excused the ones who are too poor to suffer this loss of income,” he said.

Some autorickshaw drivers complained of having faced strong-arm tactics for not being on strike. “A man slapped me when I was driving near Shastri Park,” said Dhirendra Singh.

Vinod Singh, another autorickshaw driver who disobeyed the strike call, said, “It’s 85,000 autowallahs against the 1 crore public, which gets cheaper cabs through Ola and Uber. It is clear who the government is going to support. If it does anything, it loses votes. Therefore, I continue to take commuters.”

Amid the standoff, commuters seemed relieved that more autos were plying than on Tuesday. “The strike left me stranded yesterday. Thankfully, today there are a few autos around,” said Divya Garg, an advocate.

Anu Raj Rana is an intern with The Indian Express

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  1. C
    Jul 28, 2016 at 1:45 am
    The fact is the auto and cab drivers/owners are Kejri's followers. After initial few days now they have realized that the Kejru is a drama queen and if you try to take an auto or taxi, these either are unwilling to go to your destination or you have to pay them what they want and Delhi people are rightly looking for service providers lie Ola etc. It is pathetic to see that there are people who still belief this nautanki.
    1. J
      Jul 28, 2016 at 1:29 am
      The way BJP has been steadily trying to derail Delhi Govt. that doesnt come to anybody's notice - Very strange !!!
      1. Rajiv Pande
        Jul 28, 2016 at 5:19 am
        If Kejriwal supports cabbies, then public gets angry. If he supports the public then cabbies get angry. Kejriwal has found a solution to ALL such problems - blame Modi!
        1. Venkita Giri
          Jul 28, 2016 at 4:23 am
          It is a pity that the people of Delhi voted for a Thuglak style governance by Kejriwal!
          1. S
            Jul 28, 2016 at 11:33 am
            I am a daily commuter. I am surprised by the call of protests from auto and taxi union against app-based cabs in Delhi!!! what they exactly want? what's their problem? They say that Ola and Uber are snatching their livelihood? No! they themselves are snatching their own livelihood. Is it not true that more than 90% of the auto or taxi drivers overcharge or refuse to go many places? Each time I traveled by auto or taxi was forced to pay more than actual fare, if you insist on payment as per meter, they refuse to go. They have hundreds of lame excuses to justify overcharging like bad weather, odd route, traffic jam etc. If they feel you are a stranger then they demand double or triple of actual fare. Now the app-based cabs are providing cheap and best service, that is why people are opting them. So what is the problem? They never charge more than what their meter shows, they never refuse for any route, no matter if you are a stranger. They come at our door for pickup and drop us exactly where we want, we can book our cab sitting in office or at home for myself or for others. There are many advantages of app based cabs, it is cheaper, better and commuter friendly. Auto and taxi drivers loot people, for example, four to five months ago I was at a prepaid taxi booking counter at New Delhi railway station, I was told that there is no taxi for Vasant Kunj, suddenly a taxi driver came to me and said that he will drop me at Vasant Kunj in a non-ac Taxi for Rs 650, I was shocked as I never paid more than 350 in ac cabs of Uber or Ola for that route. Then I went to an auto driver, he demanded Rs. 250. I called a friend to book Ola for me as my internet was not working, I paid only 240 by ola mini. That is much lower than a non-ac taxi and even an auto. So if people prefer app based cabs to get cheaper and better service, what is the problem? If these auto and taxi drivers are really concerned about commuters they should improve their own services rather than protesting against other agencies providing better service. lt;br/gt;I appeal to the Delhi government and the central government, please do not let people play dirty politics with the common commuters. Let all cab and taxi providers provide their services and give common people freedom of choosing a service suites them, commuters are wise enough to select best one. To the protesters, If you are unable to provide better service please do not be an obstacle for those who are providing better services. Thanks
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