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Cong MLA lends support to taxi strike despite hardship to public

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Shillong, Feb 5: Sitting Congress legislator from Mawsynram constituency and former Meghalaya civil servant H.M. Shangpliang has extended support to the strike called by the Joint Action Committee of Commercial Vehicles and at the same time expressed concern that the strike has affected many sections of the society.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Shangpliang said that he supports the strike called by the Joint Action Committee of commercial vehicles terming their demands as “genuine” and blamed the state government for the fiasco.

“Indifference of the state government has brought about problems affecting the people of the state and the people, especially from the rural areas, are bearing the brunt of the strike”, he said.

The former bureaucrat said that the government should have called the stakeholders and leaders of the joint action committee before making a decision to reduce the taxi fares, something the public have long been complaining about.

“But there was no discussion with them and the government went ahead without consultation which consequently led to the strike”, he said.

Speaking on a personal note, he said that the government should call the joint action committee for talks and settle the matter.

He said the farmers are badly affected as it is the time when they have to sell their products such as broomstick, bay leaves, etc in the market.

Shangpliang said that apart from the farmers, the strike has affected the sick and patients, including tourism and thereby reducing the revenue of the state.

It may be mentioned that the local commercial taxis under the umbrella body Meghalaya Joint Action Committee of Commercial Vehicles (MJACCV) has been on an indefinite strike since Wednesday.

The joint action committee wants the government to cut taxes by 50 percent complaining that they are burdened by the taxes particularly at a time when the business had slumped for almost an entire year in 2020 due to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown. The committee also wants the government to raise the fares for commercial vehicles citing the rise of essential commodities.

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