Rahul Gandhi promises Gig Workers Act in Telangana if Congress voted to power
Rahul Gandhi also promised to give ₹12,000 to each auto driver and to consider reducing pending challans to 50 per cent and implementing a single-permit policy once the Congress was elected in Telangana
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacted with auto drivers, gig workers, and sanitary workers in Hyderabad on Tuesday and promised to enact a law in Telangana in lines of Rajasthan’s Gig Workers Act, 2023, if the party is voted to power in the state in the upcoming assembly elections.
During his interaction in Jubilee Hills constituency, where the party’s candidate is former India men’s cricket team captain Mohammad Azharuddin, Gandhi also promised to give ₹12,000 to each auto driver and to consider reducing pending challans to 50 per cent and implementing a single-permit policy once the Congress was elected in Telangana.
Gandhi described Rajasthan’s Gig Workers Act, 2023 as a “groundbreaking” law in the country to help protect gig workers. The Act passed in July 2023, aims to provide gig workers with crucial social security and essential benefits.
“Once we get elected in Telangana, we will hold a consultation with you workers and implement a similar act here,” Gandhi told the crowd.
The delivery workers specifically complained of rising petrol prices, the lack of insurance and a provident fund (PF), and the 12-hour-long working hours.
“We travel close to 10 km to deliver food to a customer, but our image is that of a donkey. We work for more than 12 hours and make around ₹1,000 rupees—out of which, Rs. 200–400 goes into petrol,” a gig worker, Mohammad Feroz Khan, complained.
Another worker complained of the lack of a welfare board.
“Yesterday, I was carrying groceries for a customer in the morning and met with an accident because I kept getting calls to hurry up…I had to pay out of my pocket to exchange a damaged item because the company or the customer wouldn’t help me. I tried calling the company, but I got no response. I work hard and yet there’s no insurance in case something happens to me,” he said.
Gandhi, in response, said the current state of the delivery workers is akin to “21st-century slavery” and said that while the companies benefit, the delivery workers are bearing the full risk.
Gandhi also spoke with several sanitation workers, who complained about the lack of medical insurance and a permanent income, despite working with private companies for years.
“We arrive every day, they take our attendance, and we get to work… I’ve been working at the same company for years and I’m still only a contract worker. We want to be permanent workers so we can stop relying on daily wages and afford sick days,” one woman said.
She also added that although the K Chandrashekar Rao government promised the workers a two-bedroom apartment, no benefits have been given to them.
“I need a house, my children need a house. We got no benefits from the KCR government,” she said.
At the end of the interaction, Gandhi donned the auto driver uniform and took a picture with the drivers.
The voting in Telangana is scheduled to take place on November 30.
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