MNS resorts to violence to stop Ola, Uber cabs from plying in Mumbai during strike
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leaders and workers resorted to violence on Monday in a bid to dissuade Ola and Uber cab drivers, that were still on the road despite the party’s call for an indefinite strike, from plying their cabs.
In a video released by ANI, MNS leader Nitin Nandgaonkar can be seen breaking the windshield of a cab, that did not allegedly take part in the strike, and threatening the driver.
Some of the workers can also be heard shouting, “Gaadi band matlab gaadi band (no vehicle means no vehicle)” to the driver, who is left no option but to watch helplesslessly.
— ANI (@ANI) March 19, 2018
Nandgaonkar, incidentally, had warned the cab aggregators in a Facebook post last week.
“Warning to the Ola/Uber foreign multinational companies!! 19th March Ola/Uber will protest and remain offline!! Dare not fool my Indian friends who have put their everything to earn bread and butter. Innocent people have mortgaged their wealth, health and everything to take heavy loans to invest for the cars. You’ll have shown them false dreams and trapped them,” he wrote.
“Give them their share as promised or will shut down all your cars! This is a promise from a Maharashtra Sainik to my Indian Ola Uber Drivers!” he added.
The MNS leader was also in the news last month after a video of him punishing an errant taxi driver went viral. Nandgaonkar was arrested after the issue was highlighted in the media, but was subsequently released on bail.
Ola and Uber drivers are protesting against inadequate remuneration. The indefinite strike, which started today, has been called by the transport wing of the Maharashtra Navnirman Vahtuk Sena in Mumbai.
The union has alleged that drivers are unable to cover their costs due to falling revenues and that Ola/Uber give preference to company-owned cabs over driver-owned taxis.
At the time of calling the strike, the union had claimed that most cabs associated with the aggregators would remain off the road from Monday. The situation on the road, however, was far from it as many cabs were still ferrying passengers today morning.
Unfortunately for commuters, the decline in the number of cabs meant higher waiting times and surge pricing, in certain cases as high as four times the regular cost.