New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party rebel MLA Col Devinder Sehrawat on Thursday lashed out at Arvind Kejriwal alleging that the Delhi Chief Minister illegally benefitted financially from taxi aggregators Ola and Uber to fulfill his political dreams.
The allegation against the party supremo comes at a time when AAP is struggling hard for an image makeover after one of its MLAs was caught allegedly exploiting a woman sexually on camera, ahead of the Assembly elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Goa.
While speaking to Firstpost after addressing the taxi drivers in a protest programme organised against move of the two taxi aggregators to monopolise the market by charging fares much below the cost price, Col Sehrawat said, "If the Delhi government can implement the odd-even scheme with one lakh civil defence volunteers, then why cannot it stop Ola and Uber cabs from illegally plying in the city?"
He said, “These companies which do not have the permission to run business in Delhi are running 60,000 cabs in the capital city. This is a clear pointer that a secret understanding with the government has been reached."
Stating that the cab companies charge fares at their will which are sometimes far below the cost price Col Sehrawat said, “This has halved the earnings of autorickshaw drivers. Kejriwal’s coffers are brimming over while auto drivers are struggling for survival as their means of livelihood are threatened by Ola and Uber.
“Some of the Delhites feel that they are getting cheaper trips from this companies. But they will soon feel the heat after one of these competing companies achieves monopoly over the Delhi market," he said.
“Talks are on between Ola and Uber for a merger. Delhi may see a rise in taxi fare soon after such merger happens,” the rebel AAP MLA said.
He cited the example of China where the Uber China was bought over by a local company to monopolise over the market and fares were increased and the benefits of the drivers were decreased soon after the monopoly was achieved.
If the monopoly becomes a reality, the legislator said that the AAP government will have to take onus.
“In that case, the Delhi government will be responsible for the plight of the Delhites. Transport is a state subject," said Col Sehrawat.
Alleging that these companies have already collected Rs 9,000 crore by way of surge pricing illegally, he said, "These companies continue to do that, even though a Delhi High Court order passed on 11 August this year ordered them not to charge more than the fares notified by the government. They continue to get away because Kejriwal has reached a secret deal with Ola and Uber in order to raise funds for his 'Operation PM' via Punjab.”
Earlier the Delhi government said in an affidavit filed in the Delhi High Court that these companies have not been given licences to operate in Delhi.
On Thursday, a rally of auto and taxi drivers was organised at Jantar Mantar where Rakesh Agarwal, secretary of Nyayabhoomi also came down heavily on the Kejriwal government.