Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday refused to meet a demand of the protesting transporters, and the Deputy CM D.K. Shivakumar dubbed the shutdown call as an attempt to “blackmail the government” and playing politics.
“It is not a good development to blackmail the government and put passengers into inconvenience. Women are benefitted by the free travel Shakti scheme,” Shivakumar stated.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, Shivakumar stated that the owners of private buses are in crisis in the backdrop of implementation of the free travel scheme. “We will take action in this regard. Even if auto drivers are in trouble, we will look into it as we are aware of the situation,” he stated.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah reacting to the protest said that it is being stated that private buses are suffering losses due to the implementation of free travel scheme. “Private transporters have placed a demand before the government to cover the losses. This demand of the private transport organisations can’t be fulfilled,” CM Siddaramaiah stated.
Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, CM Siddaramaiah stated, “The private transporters are placing unrealistic demands. They are claiming loss incurred due to the free travel scheme, is it possible to refund their losses?
“There is no provision to take action on their protest. Let them protest without violating the law. The Minister for Transport Ramalinga Reddy will look into the demands.”
Former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy demanded that the government should look into the demands without ego and with humanity. “The demands are not impossible ones. The government should not forget that they have families, parents and children to take care of.
He further maintained that the side-effects of the guarantee schemes have started affecting the people. The people who took loans for cabs, taxis and found their livelihoods have come on to the streets. The private transport network which operated on par with government transport has now been destroyed, he added.