Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will address autorickshaw drivers in Bengaluru on Sunday, attempting to win over a community which played a crucial role in the Aam Aadmi Party’s resounding victory in the national capital last year.
Kejriwal is in the Karnataka capital for treatment of his persistent cough through naturopathy.
Auto drivers are among the biggest support base for the party in Delhi and the ruling party in the Capital had first used autos for election campaign before the 2013 assembly elections for the first time, using them to mount posters and, at times, loudspeakers.
There is severe unrest among auto drivers in Bengaluru over a new regulation that mandates Class 8 as minimum qualification for getting a driver’s licence. The city auto drivers are also planning to write to the Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari, asking him to withdraw the clause from the Central Motor Vehicles Rules (Amendment) 2007.
“The Bengaluru unit approached Kejriwal and he agreed since he was supposed to be in the city at the time. The unit has been working hard on the ground and closely with auto drivers. We are expecting a huge crowd on Sunday,” said a party member who did not want to be named.
The unit, in November, launched a campaign to demand withdrawal of Rule 8 of the Central Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Rules, 2007.
“A petition was started which has now been physically signed by about 25,000 people just in Bangalore city. 30,000 auto drivers have given a missed call in support and about 100,000 drivers have been reached through this campaign. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who will be in Bangalore during this time, has agreed to participate in the event thereby offering his complete support to the campaign. He will also share with the audience achievements of Delhi Government in its first year,” a statement issued by the party said.