Bhubaneswar: The Driver Ekata Manch has decided to call off its indefinite strike after the Odisha government assured the agitating drivers of fulfilling their demands within three months.
Driver Ekata Manch president Prashant Menduli today urged the agitating drivers to call off their agitation and return to work in the wake of the state government’s assurance to fulfill the 10-point charter of demands, including formation of a welfare fund for the drivers, social security measures and pensions after 60 years of age.
“Thousands of drivers across Odisha participated in the peaceful agitation for three days. They demonstrated their unity. The state government has sought three months to fulfill our demands. The Chief Secretary has given us a written assurance in this regard. The Transport Minister and the Chief Secretary have also urged the Driver Ekata Manch to call off its agitation. The people of Odisha have also suffered a lot due to the drivers’ strike. Taking into account all these aspects, the Manch has decided to withdraw the agitation. Therefore, we request all our members to resume their work,” Menduli said in a video message today.
However, the Driver Ekata Manch has threatened to launch a fresh agitation if the state government does not keep its promises. “We will launch a fresh agitation if the state government does not fulfill our demands within three months. The drivers may opt for self-immolation in front of the Chief Minister’s residence (Naveen Niwas) in Bhubaneswar if the state government fails to keep its promises,” Menduli said.
Notably, thousands of drivers launched their indefinite strike to press for their demands on March 15. The people faced severe inconvenience due to the drivers’ agitation. The supply of fuel, vegetables and other essential commodities was severely affected by the strike.