The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has again resorted to violence amid its call for indefinite strike of drivers of app-based taxi aggregator Ola and Uber in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Pune and Bengaluru, among others. A video released by news agency ANI shows an MNS worker damaging the windshield of a taxi in Mumbai and threatening the driver to stop plying the vehicle in the wake of the strike.
The MNS worker can also be heard telling the taxi driver, “Gaadi band matlab gaadi band (no vehicle means no vehicle)”.
— ANI (@ANI) March 19, 2018
The strike has been called by Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena, a subsidiary of the MNS, after Ola and Uber drivers claimed that they were given big assurances but were unable to cover even their costs on the ground.
"Ola and Uber had given big assurances to the drivers, but today they are unable to cover their costs. They have invested Rs 5-7 lakh, and were expecting to make Rs 1.5 lakh a month but are unable to even make half of this, owing to the mismanagement by these companies," Sanjay Naik of Maharashtra Navnirman Vahatuk Sena, who is organising the strike, said.
The protestors are claiming that the taxi-hailing companies are giving first priority to company-owned cars and not driver-owned vehicles, which is causing a slump in their business.
While taxi-hailing companies offered loan-guarantee letters to drivers through the Mudra scheme and that too without any verification, they are defaulting on repayment now as their costs are not covered, Naik claimed.
In Mumbai alone, there are over 45,000 cabs on these aggregators but due to the slump in business, there has been a fall of 20 per cent in the number of cabs running on these platforms in the city.
There has been no official word yet from either Ola or Uber. While Ola declined to comment, an Uber spokesperson had termed the strike call as a speculative.