The government must talk to striking truckers on their "reasonable demands" to end the hardships of the common man, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani said on Friday.
Accusing the government of not initiating efforts to resolve the truckers' grievances, Advani said he was concerned over the impact of the strike on ordinary citizens.
The nationwide strike by the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) entered its fifth day on Friday. The truckers want prices of diesel to be cut by Rs 10 and those of tyres by 35 per cent.
"I am concerned by the impact on the ordinary citizen, and alarmed by the absence of much activity on the part of the government towards resolving the truckers' grievances," Advani said in a statement.
"The impact of the strike on the man on the street, already reeling under the impact of massive inflation and burdened by depressing news on the economic front, has been severe," he said.
"The prices of essential commodities, particularly food grains and vegetables, have gone up by 30-50 per cent. Any further continuation of the strike would make conditions for the common man unbearable.
"I understand that the trucking industry has been hit hard by the global economic recession."
Advani said some of the truckers' demands were reasonable.
Describing trucking industry as a vital lifeline of the nation, he said: "Transporters play an important role in keeping the wheels of the economy moving. I believe it is the duty of the government to extend a helping hand to them, and other segments of the domestic industry, and cushion them as much as possible from the pains of economic recession...
"It is unfortunate that the central government after disregarding the truckers' demands for so long is now advising state governments to invoke ESMA (Essential Services Maintenance Act)," Advani said.