Bengaluru: Hundreds of college students took to the streets on Wednesday accusing the state government of going back on their promise to issue free bus passes for students across the state.
The protest, held jointly by All India Mahila Sanskritik Sanghatan (AIMSS), All Indian Democratic Students Organisation (AIDSO) and All India Democratic Youth Organisation (AIDYO), began at Town Hall and culminated at Mysore Bank Circle where a meeting took place.
Addressing the protesters AIDSO District Secretary Ajay Kamat said the Kumaraswamy government has betrayed the students after promising that the move proposed by the previous Siddaramaiah government would be implemented after the budget announcement.
“After the formation of the new government, the Transport Minister assured that his department would issue free pass to students. Even the Deputy Chief Minister G. Parameshwar announced after the coordination committee meeting that the free bus pass scheme would be implemented as promised before, after which we called off the agitation,” he said. However there is no mention of the same in the new budget and ministers are evading questions, this is sheer betrayal, he added.
Condemning the government’s stand AIDSO state president N. Pramod denied the claims of the transport department that issuing free bus passes would result to an additional burden of Rs 630 crore. “But it has to be noted that this estimation is done on the basis of maximum profit. Is the department running extra buses solely for the sake of students? It is not true that the transport department will suffer losses if they provide free bus passes to the students,” he said.