Lakhs of office-goers, students and passengers were put to hardships as a large section of autorickshaws in Mumbai went on a flash strike demanding fare hike early on Tuesday, officials said.
While all autorickshaws stayed off the roads in the entire western suburbs, union office-bearers claimed that the flash strike did not get any response in the eastern suburbs.
"This was a mischievous attempt by some Congress leaders who spread the rumour early today (Tuesday) that all autorickshaws were on strike. The rumour spread all over Mumbai, leading to the present situation," alleged Bombay Autorickshaw and Taximen's Union President Sharad Rao.
Rao said the union and the state government shall have discussions over the long-pending issue of a hike in minimum fare - from Rs.9 to Rs.15 - later Tuesday.
The strike created major hardships for lakhs of people carrying luggage at various railway stations and the Mumbai Airport.
In the absence of autorickshaws, students and office-goers were delayed for their destinations as the public buses, BEST were going full and there were long queues at bus stops in the suburbs.
There are around 105,000 autorickshaws plying in Mumbai besides around 65,000 taxis - the latter are not on strike.