The e-rickshaw ban has begun to echo in political circles as well.
Smelling an opportunity, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of doing nothing to regularise these rickshaws, while the Delhi Congress sought a meeting with L-G Najeeb Jung to seek his intervention in the matter.
There are more than two lakh e-rickshaws in Delhi and about three-and-half lakh drivers run them in shifts. The political parties know they are a big vote bank.
The AAP had taken up the cause of the e-rickshaw drivers only last month. To counter their move, Union minister of road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari had announced regularisation of the vehicles in a Jan Sabha on June 17.
The AAP on Thursday blamed the BJP for “indulging in doublespeak” and taking “contrary stands in the court and outside”.
“Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari must explain what happened to his assurances given to the e-rickshaw drivers on June 17. He had promised to provide employment to two crore people, but his government, through its negligence and doublespeak, is responsible for rendering at least two lakh poor families jobless,” an AAP statement read. Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Arvinder Singh and chief spokesperson Mukesh Sharma also asked the BJP-led central government to bring an ordinance to prevent e-rickshaw drivers from being rendered jobless. “The road transport minister had got himself a big applause when he promised that the e-rickshaw drivers would not be rendered jobless. What happened to that promise now?” Singh asked. The BJP, however, said its government was committed to the regularisation of e-rickshaws. “Our government has already sent its views to the Supreme Court and the high court. The civic agencies are also framing the guidelines for these vehicles. We will also meet the representatives of the e-rickshaw drivers on Friday,” Delhi BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana said.