January 29, 2018
Chennai : Entire opposition in Tamil Nadu, led by the DMK, on Monday held a state-wide protest against the government decision hiking bus fares that they all said would cripple the already heavily burdened lower income group people.
DMK working president led the protests at Kolathur in Chennai where he was joined by leaders of many other opposition parties.
They were all demanding a roll back of the steep hike of bus fares that had the entire student community and the middle and lower-middle-class people coming out in protests across the state. Ridiculing the marginal decrease in fares announced by the chief minister Edapaddi Palaniswami, DMK working president MK Stalin said it was just an eyewash.
The chief minister castigated the opposition parties for trying to play politics with their agitation which would serve no useful purpose. The transport corporations were running under mounting losses and fare hike was rightly justified he said citing economic reasons. Maintenance costs and diesel prices had skyrocketed and along with hike in salaries of corporation staff, there was no other way to maintain the services without hiking the fares, the CM said.
The chief minister said even after the hike, bus fares in Tamil Nadu were the lowest when compared to other neighbouring states.
It is all rubbish said Stalin, who has formed a special expert group in the DMK to suggest ways and means to increase the efficiency of the transport corporations.
Other than the alliance partners of DMK, the Congress and IUML, political outfits like the VCK too joined the DMK protest.
A VCK leader said the fare reduction announced by the government is “very minimal and will not help anybody.”
The DMK had held a protest on Saturday too, seeking a roll back of the hike but the government declared that it would be impossible to do so. On Sunday, the chief minister announced a marginal reduction in fares, which was again criticised by the commuters as also the opposition parties.