The anger of cab drivers against cab aggregators, Uber and Ola, is understandable – cab drivers claim that they don’t make as much money as the aggregator giants promised and feel ‘cheated’. However, these aggregators could face some competition in the market if ‘independent candidate’ ‘Mukkawar Sunil’ is elected.
Sunil, who is the president of Telangana Cabs Association, is planning to contest the upcoming Telangana Assembly Elections from Quthbullapur constituency in Hyderabad and has promised to develop a state-owned cab aggregator to go up against Ola and Uber, which would give the drivers their promised fare of Rs 18 per km.
“In the last three years, we organized several protests against Ola and Uber which yielded no results. Even after representations to the government, they paid no heed to our concerns. Hence, I decided to join politics and become their representative,” he says, speaking to #KhabarLive.
He further adds, “If I am elected, I will pitch for the government to develop the state government’s own app which would give the drivers Rs 18 per km, which is in accordance with the RTA rules.”
Sunil says that they have documented the deaths of 30 cab drivers, who couldn’t repay their loans.
“Among the 60-70 deaths, we have recorded deaths of 30 drivers who have left a suicide note about their financial crisis which was because of the promises made by Ola and Uber.”
According to Sunil, Ola and Uber promised them that they would make Rs 1 lakh per month, but in reality, they are not even able to make Rs 15,000 by the end of the month.
“There is a lot of anger against these cab aggregators, but no one comes to protest. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want to express their outrage; they don’t protest because then they will lose that day’s earnings. Drivers are caught in debt, they have taken loans and have bought cars after Ola and Uber assured that would make enough money to repay their loans. However, they are overworking to meet their ends,” Sunil claims.
Sunil has received the support of several taxi unions for his election. Learning about it, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi leaders including Malkajgiri MP Ch Malla Reddy assured him that they will resolve their problems within 10 days. However, the taxi drivers have stated that they don’t trust the sitting MLAs anymore and Sunil has decided to contest against TRS candidate and sitting MLA, KP Vivekanand.
“I have the support of the taxi drivers. They trust me that I would be their representative if I become an MLA. All these years, the TRS-led government ignored us, now suddenly they have come forward to help us, but we are done with being fooled. Besides, the issues of drivers, I would also work for my constituency which is facing the problem of pollution.” #KhabarLive