Odisha Drivers’ Mahasangh Refuses To End Strike Despite Govt Assurance

Bhubaneswar: Even as the Odisha government claimed that the striking drivers have agreed to withdraw their action, the Drivers’ Mahasangh on Friday refused to end the agitation and announced their decision to continue their stir.

Mking a statement in the state Assembly on Friday, Transport Minister Tukuni Sahu said that the Chief Secretary had held talks with drivers’ association on Thursday.

The Minister said that a decision has been taken to fulfill the demands of the drivers in three months and they have agreed to withdraw their agitation.

However, Odisha Drivers’ Mahasangh president Prashant Menduli said in a video message that the agitation, which entered its third day on Friday, is still continuing in the state.

The members of the Mahasangh want that the agitation will continue till the state government makes an announcement to accept the demands of the protesters, he said.

Stating that the members of the Mahasangha have rejected the assurance given by the Chief Secretary, he said the drivers are of the view that the Chief Secretary’s promise lacks clarity.

It may be noted here that following disruption of vehicular movement due to the drivers’ amid reports of sporadic violence, Chief Secretary P K Jena held a meeting with the agitators on Thursday. The agitating drivers were assured that their issues will be resolved within 3 months.

Following the discussion with Mahasangh members on their demands, it was decided that that government would resolve the issues within 3 months, sources said.

Meanwhile, a report from Sambalpur said that police picked up and detained more than 50 agitating drivers from Jayantpur Chhak for allegedly blocking the highway.

Sources said the Sambalpur-Bargarh highway was blocked by the agitating drivers. As a result, thousands of vehicles remained stranded on both sides of the road.

After getting information, local police reached the spot and requested the drivers to clear the road, but in vain. Later, the cops detained the protesting drivers and restored the traffic flow.

The drivers are on strike to press for a 10-point charter of demands including pension after 60 years of age, insurance facilities and other social security measures.

Meanwhile, the supply chain of petrol, diesel, vegetables, gas and other essential commodities was badly hit across the state due to the indefinite strike by the drivers.

Due to the indefinite drivers’ strike, hundreds of trucks carrying essential items from other states have been stranded on the National Highway across Odisha border in Andhra Pradesh.

Get real time updates directly on you device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.