Tamil Nadu MLA KR Rajakrishnan on Saturday drove a bus and dropped off 70 commuters at their destinations after he saw their plight when he visited a bus terminus to assess the impact of the state transport strike, The News Minute reported. Tamil Nadu has been hobbled by a transport strike that entered its fourth day on Sunday.
Rajakrishnan, an MLA from the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, approached the branch manager of the bus depot in the town Anthiyur in Erode district and asked him if he could help them out by driving a bus.
“I hold a valid heavy transport and non-transport driving licence,” Rajakrishnan told PTI. “I was allowed to drive the bus by authorities after officials inspected my driving skills.”
The manager told the MLA that he could drive a bus on the Anthiyur-Bhavani route, which is a 16-km journey. He took the wheel, and set off with 35 passengers at 3 pm, The Hindu reported, and was back at the bus terminus by 4.10 pm.
Transport unions have said that the strike will continue until the state government agreed to their demands – an increase in wages and payment of dues – and have refused to call it off despite an order from the Madras High Court. On Saturday, officials in a number of districts in the state recruited temporary drivers and conductors with valid licences and operated government buses, The Hindu reported.
Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar had appealed to bus employees on Saturday to return to work.