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Real Public Service? Tamil Nadu MLA Drives Bus After Strike Strands Passengers

Anthiyur MLA Rajakrishnan intervened during a massive strike by the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation staff.

In times of trouble or great inconvenience, elected representatives are expected to step up and serve the general public. In many parts of this country, however, this isn’t the case, and in fact, these representatives are often criticised for behaving in a contrary manner.

One MLA from Tamil Nadu’s Anthiyur constituency, however, ferried 36 stranded passengers to Bhavani and Erode on a state transport bus late last week, following a major transport union strike in the state. The Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation staff are on strike following their dissatisfaction with the wages offered by the government, reported the Times of India.

With the strike hitting public transport in the state hard, Anthiyur MLA Rajakrishnan of the AIADMK visited the bus stand in Anthiyur and found passengers stranded there. These irate passengers spoke of how they waited for the bus for more than two hours.

In response to their demands, Rajakrishnan requested local transport officials to bring in a bus driver and conductor to ferry them. When no driver showed up, the MLA decided to take matters into his own hands and offered to drive the bus.

For representational purposes only (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
For representational purposes only (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

With a valid license to drive a transport bus, and as an owner of heavy vehicles, the MLA told transport officials he was well qualified to ferry these passengers to their destinations. “My licence is valid until November 17, 2019,” he informed the Times of India.

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After checking the validity of his license, transport officials asked the MLA to take the bus around for a test drive to ascertain his capabilities. After driving the bus for a little while, officials agreed to allow the MLA to ferry passengers.

After dropping the passengers to their respective destinations, Rajakrishnan asked another set of stranded passengers in Bhavani travelling to Anthiyur to board the bus, and ferried them back.

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Members of the opposition DMK and its affiliate the Labour Progressive Federation felt the move was a publicity stunt and protested at the Anthiyur bus stand. Having said that, the local MLA did ferry stranded passengers in their moment of need.

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