Addressing a rally organised by Aam Aadmi Party, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal demanded that the Karnataka government should scrap a rule that makes Class 8 pass certificates mandatory to get autorickshaw licenses in Bengaluru.
Party members claim that AAP, which made its debut in the 2013 Delhi assembly election with support from autorickshaw drivers, are employing a similar strategy to strengthen the party in Karnataka, reported Times of India.
According to the 2007 amendment to the Motor Vehicles Act, a driver for public transport – autorickshaws or buses – is required to have passed Class 8 and be above 20 years of age. But for private vehicles however, a driver’s licence is granted at the age of 18 years.
The Delhi chief minister, who is the city for a naturopathy treatment for his cough, asked “The rule of asking auto drivers to have class VIII certificates for getting a badge is illogical. I myself don't have one though I have all degree certificates. How can you expect auto drivers to have one?”
According to Kejriwal, the rule 8 of the Motor Vehicles Act does not make sense when an auto driver can get class 8 certificate by paying a bribe of Rs. 20,000.
“I want to ask the minister who made this rule if he understood any foreign language when he went abroad. I am sure he would have. The sign boards there ensure even illiterates understand the rules easily. In Karnataka, it's the other way round,” he added.
President of Bijapur district auto-drivers’ union, Mohammed Gulab Mohammed Abbas Bhandari had earlier told The News Minute: “If the law is not reconsidered, more than 95 percent of auto drivers in the Bijapur district might be branded ineligible to ride auto rickshaws in the city."
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Bhandari claimed that there is a license racket that is being run by driving schools, and these auto-drivers get stuck in between. “They pay a huge bribe to get a fake education certificate, the RTO won't give license if they find out. If the autorickshaw drivers were really that well-off then they would not choose to be in this profession," he added.