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Taxi Drivers Employed by EC For 2019 Polls: Our Dues Not Cleared

Taxi drivers from Maharashtra, whose dues haven’t been cleared, have decided to not deploy taxis in the state polls.

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Video translation: Shohini Bose

Video Editor: Vivek Gupta

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It has been more than two months since the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. However, several taxi drivers from Maharashtra who were employed by Election Commission officials for election duty during the polls, claim that their dues have still not been cleared.

The Taxi Union has decided, therefore, to not deploy any taxis for the upcoming state elections. The drivers claim that they were compelled to travel from the RTO to the Election Commission office every day during duty hours.

Elections were held in Maharashtra in four phases. The Election Commission officials had rented more than 400 taxis from the state in the four phases.

It was decided by the Taxi Union that the taxis would be deployed for Rs 4,000 daily. Some drivers were employed for 10 days and some for 12 days. Their job was to pick up and drop EC officials and transport their equipment, which included EVM machines.

“I deployed taxis for election duty. EC should have released payment within three days. We have still not been paid. They are making excuses. Polling agents used taxis during the Lok Sabha polls. In Bhiwandi, 55 taxis were deployed. Drivers worked for six days but were paid only for two. They were supposed to get Rs 2,013 per day. Drivers are yet to be paid Rs 8,052 each. They are knocking at our doors now.”
Rakesh Mishra, President, Indian Taxi Drivers’ Union, Mumbai
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Rakesh Mishra, President of the Indian Taxi Drivers' Union has said that no taxi will be deployed for election duty till the dues are cleared.

“No union will now give (taxis) for polls. Why should we? Which driver will want to? Our payments are still due. We don’t trust them anymore. Only if they give us in writing that our dues will be cleared within three days, will we deploy our taxis. Otherwise, no taxi will be deployed.”
Rakesh Mishra, President, Indian Taxi Drivers’ Union, Mumbai

The Election Commission said that they are keen on resolving the issue. They claim that some taxis were not available on time and some were not used and hence there has been a delay in payment. The drivers contend that if some taxis were not used, it is not their fault.

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