Explained: In capital’s poll race, how auto drivers will play a crucial role
New Delhi, Feb 05: With 2.5 lakh auto drivers operating in the nation's capital, political parties are trying to woo essentials vote bank for the upcoming Delhi Assembly Elections 2020. They have always been a game-changer in the last Delhi Assembly poll.
But the biggest question arises here is who will Delhi's auto drivers vote for?
In the past decade, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) used autos extensively during its campaign in 2013 and 2015, other parties have also run anti-AAP messaging on autos. However, this time things do not seem to be the same in the upcoming Assembly polls.
The auto drivers seem to be in no mood to support any particular political party, as the 'promises made by AAP weren't really fulfilled in the past 5 years'.
Rajendra Soni, general secretary, Delhi Auto Rickshaw Sangh, which has ties with Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh, an RSS-affiliate trade union, said that the auto wallahs in the national capital want a government that resolves their issues seriously.
While speaking to ANI, Soni said, "We, the auto wallas of Delhi wish for a government that does not use us merely as a vote bank but is serious about us and is determined to resolve our issues. Who else shall we look upon if not the government?"
Another reason, the auto drivers cited, is the growing popularity of app-based cabs in the city, which they believe AAP has failed to rein in.
The cab facilities in Delhi since 2017 has directly affected the auto-owners.
The business of auto-rickshaw drivers has further seen a dent after the AAP government declared free bus ride for women.
On the contrary, Surinder Kumar, 34, an auto driver from Laxmi Nagar appreciated the works done by the Kejriwal government. He said, "Some of the work done by the Kejriwal government is appreciable. It has helped us immensely. Must mention the waiving of vehicle fitness fees. Moreover the penalty for late fees, registration and re-registration have been reduced. I am happy."
However, In an attempt to lure the constructed voter base, Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari said,"An auto that cost ₹1.15 lakh is being sold for ₹6 lakh. Once we are in power, we will make the entire system very transparent which will bring both ease of doing business and ease of living for the auto wallahs."
With political parties trying hard to convince the auto drivers with new promises or fulfil old commitments, it will be seen whether AAP retained their support or not when the results come on Feb 11.