Autorickshaw drivers revel in AAP success

Autorickshaw drivers revel in AAP success

After Aam Aadmi Party’s surprising performance in Delhi assembly elections, auto drivers in the city feel victorious.

“For over three months, we carried Kejriwal posters on the back our autos,” said Vikash Yadav who has been driving autos for the last 12 years.

“The AAP candidates have done well in migrant colonies of Delhi. No wonder they are excited about the impressive show put by the party,” says Vandana Gupta who takes an auto to reach her office daily. “I enjoy my conversations with them (auto drivers) on the success of AAP.”

In September, the Aam Aadmi Party championed the cause of auto-wallahs, said Vikash. “The initial charge on meter-down was Rs 19 and now it is Rs 25. The rate per kilometer increased by Rs 1.5.”

Following the increase in CNG prices, there was a week-long protest by auto drivers in the city, starting October last week. “There were three days of regular strikes. On rest of the days, we drove autos from morning till four in the evening, after that we returned home,” said Rajesh Kumar from Laxmi Nagar.

He is elated about Vinod Kumar Binny’s success and proudly said he voted for him
 He said he had asked Binny if he could assist in his campaign.

“You can’t imagine what he said. He asked me not to leave my work,” he said.

They party did not pay for the advertising posters they had put behind the autos, said Rajesh. Most of the auto drivers said they did not object to party volunteers putting up posters behind their autos.

“They always asked us before pasting,” Rajesh said.

The state transport department had issued a notice on June 6, drawing the attention of owners of public service vehicles, which include auto-rickshaws, to Rule 71 of Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules, 1993, which prohibits display of any types of advertising materials on public service vehicles.

The publicity charges realised by the autorickshaw owners for display of such were to be borne and shown by the party in its expenditure account, said an Election Commission notice.

“The posters at the back blinded our view. We couldn’t see the oncoming traffic in the rear view mirror,” said Rajesh, explaining that the poster covered their rear window.
“The traffic policemen never objected to the posters,” said Rajesh.

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