New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal on Monday joined a demonstration of auto drivers protesting against a recent Delhi government order banning advertisements on auto- rickshaws and taxis. The protest was organised by NGO `Nyay Bhumi`.
The Aam Aadmi Party`s National Convenor, who has announced his plan to contest against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in the coming Delhi Assembly polls, expressed his solidarity with the protesters.
"If advertisements on autos is illegal, why are the huge hoardings of Sheila Dikshit seen all over Delhi not removed? This is a political move and clearly the autos carrying AAP posters are being targeted," he said.
He alleged that the government order was aimed at targeting the AAP`s publicity campaign through three-wheelers.
"I request my brothers not to overcharge or misbehave with the passengers. If you will change, the government will change and we, in turn, can bring a change to the policies.
"Our volunteers will put the Aam Aadmi posters on around 10,000 autos of the city in the next 10 days. If you are fined for it, you can come to our party office and get the money," he said. Rakesh Aggarwal of Nyay Bhumi alleged that the ban on advertisements amounted to curbing the Freedom of Speech and Expression.
The auto drivers present at the protest site complained about the "callous attitude" of the Delhi Police towards them.
"Delhi does not have designated auto stands. We are picked up and fined randomly by police when we stop our vehicles and wait for passengers. They force us to take passengers during late hours. When will we go back home if we are working till midnight?" Narender Yadav, who has been driving for 13 years in the capital, lamented.
On an average, around 55,000 to 70,000 auto rickshaws ply on Delhi roads.