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After accepting invitation, Kejriwal travels in auto for dinner at auto driver’s house

Bhagwant Mann and Harpal Singh Cheema also accompanies him in auto-rickshaw

Kejriwal listens to problems of auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers in ‘Auto Samwad’ program in Ludhiana

Make me brother like auto drivers of Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal to Punjab auto-rickshaw drivers

Ludhiana, November 22, The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) National Convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal listened to the problems and difficulties of auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers of Punjab and their suggestions for a permanent solution under the ‘Auto Samwad Program’ held in Ludhiana and assured that after the formation of the AAP government in Punjab in 2022, they would solve the problems of auto and taxi drivers of Punjab on priority basis like the auto drivers of Delhi.

He said that necessary reforms and changes will be made in the rules and regulations as has been done in Delhi. This ‘Auto Samwad’ of Kejriwal became even more interesting when an auto rickshaw driver Dilip Kumar Tewari, invited the Chief Minister of Delhi for dinner at his residence and at the same time requested that it will feel good if he (Kejriwal) will go to his house in his auto for dinner. Accepting this immediately, Kejriwal asked if he should take Bhagwant Mann and Harpal Singh Cheema with him. At the end of the program, Kejriwal, Bhagwant Mann and Harpal Singh Cheema got into the auto and went to Dilip Tewari’s house and had dinner.

Addressing hundreds of auto rickshaw and taxi drivers during the ‘Auto Samwad’ program, Arvind Kejriwal said, “Due to the unparalleled work done by the Delhi government for auto and taxi drivers, every auto driver in Delhi considers me (Kejriwal) as his brother. In the same way today I have come to be your brother. I have come to build a relationship. Make me your brother; I will solve all your problems by becoming a brother. Not only the problems of auto, but children’s education not getting better at home, issues related to health; I will solve all the problems.” On the occasion, Kejriwal announced the formation of a joint corporation based on auto rickshaw and taxi drivers, so that they could formulate their own policies.

He said that before the formation of the AAP government in Delhi, auto drivers did not know how many times they had to pay bribes from morning till night. Kejriwal said that the auto-rickshaw drivers have been branded as mafia with a deliberate conspiracy, but we have openly supported auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, saying that if the auto-rickshaws and taxi drivers were mafias; they too would have built big houses instead of living in slums or small houses. He said that the auto-rickshaw or taxi drivers were not mafia, but politicians are the real mafia. The auto and taxi drivers are the victims of this corrupt system, he added.

Referring to the facilities being provided to the auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal said that the Delhi government had made all services faceless; with which one does not need to make rounds of offices. Only a round of office work is required for the fitness certificate and the rest of the work is done by the government employee coming to his house as per the convenience of the auto driver. He said that during the Covid pandemic, the Delhi government had disbursed a total of Rs 150 crore to Delhi’s auto, taxi and tempo drivers by providing Rs 5,000 per month; which has not been given by any government in the country to the auto and taxi drivers of their state.

Kejriwal asked the auto drivers to write down any other problems they may have as each problem will be addressed. He said that when officers sit in AC rooms and make plans, the problems get worse instead of being solved. Therefore, the committee set up by the Delhi government to find a permanent solution to the problems of auto-taxi drivers had auto and taxi drivers as all its members, except 2-3 officers in it. Even the decision to increase fares was taken by the auto-taxi drivers themselves as there was no increase in fares for a long time, which was implemented by the government.

Arvind Kejriwal claimed that if you ask any auto driver in Delhi, he (auto driver) will be full of praise for the Delhi government, because for the first time, the AAP government has not only addressed the long-running problems of auto drivers and resolved them; but also restored their dignity. Therefore, necessary amendments and changes were also made in the rules and laws. He said that when the AAP contested the elections for the first time in 2013, auto-rickshaw and taxi drivers played a 70 percent role in that victory. Auto, rickshaw and tempo drivers also made significant contributions in the next two record victories.

He said that the biggest role was played by putting the Aam Aadmi Party’s poster behind the auto rickshaw. Simultaneously, Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann inaugurated the ‘Ek Mauka Kejriwal’ poster for Punjab’s auto-rickshaw drivers on the stage, which Kejriwal later pasted on an auto. Earlier, various auto rickshaw drivers had sought official parking space in the cities and cooperation and necessary facilities from the administration and accused the previous governments of neglecting auto-rickshaw drivers. Auto-rickshaw and tempo-taxi drivers also demanded that the registration of commercial vehicles be done in local cities instead of Chandigarh.

During the ‘Auto Samwad’ program, Bhagwant Mann, Harpal Singh Cheema, Jarnail Singh and Raghav Chadha were present on the stage; while AAP MLA Amarjit Singh Sandoa officiated the stage. The event was also attended by AAP MLAs and state level leaders.

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