New Delhi: Dissident AAP MLA Devinder Sehrawat and social activist Rakesh Agarwal, who co-founded the NGO Nyaybhoomi, came together at Jantar Mantar on Thursday in solidarity with autorickshaw and taxi drivers. Accusing the AAP government of being in league with taxi aggregating companies, Sehrawat and Agarwal alleged that chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had failed to implement his electoral promises.
They accused his government of allowing the app-based taxi services to violate the law while denying the autorickshaw and taxi drivers any social or economic benefits. The Delhi government has been given time till November 21 to "ban" the aggregators. The autorickshaws, who have been dictating terms to commuters for years now — overcharging, refusing to ply by the meter and often simply refusing to ply — have been feeling the pinch ever since the app-based taxis have made commuting in the city very easy.
The Centre is, in fact, working on a common policy for these taxis that will be implemented across the country. It has already held one round of talks with all stakeholders and is likely to submit a report to Supreme Court this month.
Erstwhile AAP supporters like Sanjay Chawla, who claims to represent a faction of autorickshaw drivers as well as others like Sanjay Samrat, who represents the Delhi Taxi Tourist Transporters Association, were part of the rally.
While Agarwal demanded an immediate ban on the plying of these taxis and an opportunity for representation by auto drivers before the taxi policy committee formed by the Delhi high court, he said that if their demands were not met by November 21, about 50,000 auto and taxi drivers will launch a "surgical strike".
Sehrawat said that issues like GPS meters and charging of a fee by DIMTS has continued despite promises to the contrary earlier by AAP.