Drivers’ Strike Rock Odisha Assembly

Bhubaneswar: Raising Drivers’ protest issues in the Assembly, Opposition BJP and Congress on Thursday paralysed the House proceedings forcing Speaker to adjourn the House repeatedly.

Congress legislature party chief Narasingha Mishra raised the issue during Zero Hour. He said public transport has come to a standstill across the state due to the protest of the drivers.

They are not an organised body and earn Rs 6,000 to Rs 15,000 per month, which is insufficient to run a family. The government should listen to them and address their problems, he said.

Mishra urged the Speaker to direct the government to resolve their issues.

As the Speaker did not give any ruling, the members of the BJP and Congress stormed into the well of the Assembly and created a ruckus demanding early solution to their issues.

As a noisy situation prevailed in the House, Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha adjourned the proceedings and called for an all-party meeting.

Later, Leader of the Opposition Jayanarayan Mishra said, “Drivers have been protesting day and night for their rights since yesterday, but the government is silent. This is an important issue.”

He demanded that the department minister should furnish a reply in the House.

After listening to the opposition members, the Speaker gave a ruling asking Commerce and Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu to hold a discussion with agitating drivers and make a statement in the House on Friday.

A large number of bus, truck and taxi drivers under the banner of Driver Ekata Manch are on an indefinite ‘quit steering’ strike across the state since Wednesday.

The agitating drivers have been demanding pension after 60 years of age, death benefits, life insurance, social security, parking and toilet facility.

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