Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal has slammed Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on the issue of imposing a ban on advertisements on auto-rickshaws.
While supporting the demonstration of auto drivers against the Delhi Government’s ban, he referred to the alleged misuse of public money by the Chief Minister through large hoardings seen across the Capital.
Recently, the Delhi Government had issued a direction saying that the advertisements on autos were illegal as the space was supposed to advertise helpline numbers and not ads.
The officials said the permit conditions also do not allow auto space to be used for ads. There are over 70,000 autos plying on the city roads.
While extending support to the auto drivers’ stir, Mr. Kejriwal alleged that the Government move was aimed at targeting all the auto drivers who put AAP ads on their autos.
Challenging the move, he announced that AAP volunteers will put the party posters on 10,000 autos in the coming week and the party will compensate the auto drivers if they are fined for it.
“If the Sheila Dikshit Government finds these advertisements on autos illegal, what about the huge hoardings with her pictures, which are seen all over Delhi? Why have they not been removed? Isn’t that misuse of public money?” he asked.
“Banning advertisements on autos is a political move and clearly autos carrying AAP posters are being targeted,” he added.
Meanwhile, the agitating auto drivers have described the ban as a “violation” of their freedom of speech and expression. At the protest organised by Nyay Bhoomi, the auto drivers complained about the harassment they face from the Delhi Police.
“There are no designated auto stands in Delhi. But we are picked up and fined randomly by police when we stop our vehicles and wait for passengers. These days the authorities force us to take passengers during late hours,” one auto driver said .