BENGALURU: Though the protest by cab drivers of Ola and Uber continued on Thursday, many commuters said there were more cabs available in the city. The app-based drivers in the city are on a strike since February 22 for various demands.
“We have decided to continue with the indefinite strike till our demands are met. We hope the issue will be resolved in two days,” says K Chandru, a leader of Ola, TaxiForSure, Uber Drivers’ Association (OTU), adding that their two-day hunger strike at Freedom Park concluded on Thursday.
Chandru said that former chief minister and JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy has extended support to the protesting drivers. “Kumaraswamy is expected to reach Bengaluru by Saturday. He offered help in resolving the issues and financial assistance to all the protesting drivers,” he added.
However, many drivers have returned to the work after both Ola and Uber increased the incentives. “It’s not practical to continue with strike for more than a week. I have already received messages of two EMIs from the banks. Today, Uber has almost doubled the incentives so I decided to ply,” said Ramesh K, an Uber driver, who returned to work on Thursday.
He said Uber also sent messages promising security of the vehicles in case of any untoward incidents.
Many commuters are relieved “I was working from home for the last few days because of the cab strike. But there were enough cabs on Thursday compared to previous days,” says K Sarada, a resident of HSR Layout.
Drivers divided over political interference
Cab drivers are divided in their opinion over political interference in protest.
“This strike was started as an independent protest without any political affiliations. But some JDS leaders are trying to hijack it for political mileage,” said an Ola driver.
However, a member of OTA said: “We approached several leaders, but only Kumaraswamy came forward to help us”.