The Shiv Sena on Tuesday withdrew its support to the ongoing motormen strike in Mumbai taking note of the inconvenience caused to the commuters, even as the BJP appealed to the agitators to call off their protest.
“We have withdrawn our support to the motormen strike after Sena Chief Bal Thackeray ordered us to do so. The commuters are having lot of trouble and the city has been stranded since yesterday,” Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut told PTI in Mumbai.
The strike by motormen demanding hike in wages and allowances has brought suburban rail services to a crawl in the metropolis.
“Shiv Sena wants that the motormen’s demands should be fulfilled by the government. However, harassing the commuters in this way is not correct,” he said.
Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde has also appealed to the motormen to called off their strike.
“The struggle is against government and not the public and inconvenience should not be caused to public in any way due to the struggle,” Mr. Munde said.
Both the parties demanded that the Railway Ministry take immediate steps to address the grievances
“The Railway Ministry is silent on the demands of the motormen who had given notice regarding the strike six months back,” Mr. Munde told reporters outside Parliament.
Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete said the situation in Mumbai was “explosive” and riots may break out if immediate steps were not taken to end the strike.
“People are on the roads and riots can break out anytime if the situation was not tackled immediately. Railway Ministry should take steps to end the strike,” he said.
The two leaders said the opposition will not allow Parliament to function till the grievances of the motormen are addressed.
Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee should take immediate steps to address the issue and make statement in Parliament, they said.
Meanwhile, suburban train services in Mumbai continued to be disrupted for the second day on Tuesday due to the strike called by motormen demanding a hike in salary and allowances.