As the violent agitation against auto drivers initiated by the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena continues, some of the city rickshaw drivers feel they are being made a scapegoat in the political war between estranged cousins Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader Raj Thackeray.
Auto driver Shantaram Shinde (named changed) said: “They are fighting for their political gain. Even union leaders have political backing. I stay at a place where north Indians are staying since ages. When we need help, they are the first ones to come, not the political leaders.”
“On Wednesday, tyres of all rickshaws, including mine, parked near Dhobi Ghat were deflated by MNS workers. They apologised after knowing I am a Maharashtrian. But did they target rickshaws that were just parked with no driver nearby?” said Shinde.