BENGALURU: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lent his support to auto drivers on Sunday and used the opportunity to fire a few salvos at the Narendra Modi government.
Kejriwal arrived at the rally in an autorickshaw, much to the delight of the crowd comprising largely of auto drivers.
The rally was organised by the state chapter of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to demand repeal of Rule 8 of the Motor Vehicles Act which makes it mandatory for auto drivers to have passed Class 8 to qualify for a driving permit.
Kejriwal questioned the logic behind harassing the common man who was merely trying to earn a living. “Enough of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, it is about time for ‘kaam bi baat’,” he said taking a dig at the monthly radio programme by Narendra Modi.
“When they talk of ease of doing business, they call Ambani or Adani and ask them how to make it easy for them to conduct business. Let him talk to the autorickshaw drivers, shopkeepers and small independent businessmen and ask them how to make it easy for them and they will tell him about their problems,” he said.
While appreciating the Centre’s attempt to provide skills to the unemployed, he questioned why the Centre was determined to take away the right of livelihood from skilled workers by making them unemployed.
Speaking about his government’s initiative in reducing red tape, Kejriwal said his government’s aim was to provide more in law to those who had less in life and hence gave more funds for education and health.
He criticised the Karnataka government for not reacting to the plight of the auto drivers.
“Autos are very significant in Bengaluru. Neither BMTC nor the Metro is good. More than 40 per cent of people travel in autos which are a significant part of public transport. There are two lakh families depending on autos for their livelihood. It is the state government’s responsibility to sort out their problems,” he said. He promised to meet Union Minister for Road Transport Nitin Gadkari and take the matter forward.
Kejriwal is in Bengaluru for a 10-day naturopathy treatment course for chronic cough and diabetes at Jindal Naturecure Institute.