Tightening its noose around the agitating truckers, the Madhya Pradesh government invoked the Essential Services Maintenance Act on Friday night, making it the seventh state to enforce the law which enables impounding of vehicles to ensure supply of essential commodities. However, braving the arrests of All India Motor Transport Congress leaders, the truckers are holding on to their stand and are continuing their six-day long indefinite nationwide strike.
"We are incurring heavy losses in running the business. Hence the strike would continue," AIMTC Vice-President Amolak Singh Bhatia told PTI today.
Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Goa invoked ESMA earlier this week. Meanwhile, the government has already announced plans to run 15-20 lakh vehicles in the next few days for uninterrupted supply of essential commodities. These would be arranged by impounding trucks and allowing other private vehicles for transportation of commodities without permit. Transporters, on the other hand, have said they will not negotiate with the government until AIMTC members arrested on Friday are released.
"We will intensify our stir. There is no question of calling off our strike. There shall be no talks until the arrested leaders are unconditionally released without any cases against them," an AIMTC top brass told.