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Seemingly unfazed at being ousted from the Asian Athletics Association, scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi on Monday said losing the presidential re-election bid to Qatar’s Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad has actually given him a chance to work at the “grassroots” level.
“I have no issues today and I congratulate Mr Al-Hamad for being elected as President. I am rather relieved that I will be able to work at the grassroots level in athletics,” Mr. Kalmadi said after losing the vote during the ongoing AAA Congress in Pune.

National News

Mumbai autorickshaw drivers divided on strike

Monday - Apr 16, 2012, 10:19am (GMT+5.5)
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Mumbai -  Commuters may hope for some respite as a section of Mumbai's autorickshaw drivers, belonging to unions backed by the Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, have  decided against participating in a strike Monday.

Leader of Mumbai Autorickshawmen's Union Sharad Rao last week decided to stick to its plan of a state-wide autorickshaw strike Monday even as the city's transport authority Friday decided  to increase fares for the first 1.6 km by a rupee, effective from April 20.

Haji Arafat Sheikh of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena-led Vahatuk Sena said: “We shall not be participating in the strike as the transport department has already approved a hike in the  fare.”

Sheikh also assured that autorickshaw drivers from the union will be present at all busy spots during the rush hours.

The Shiv Sena-led Rickshaw Chalak Malak Sena also opposed the strike. “We have asked our drivers to not be intimidated by the tactics of the Sharad Rao-led union,” a member of the  association said.

Looking at the non-cooperation by most parties, Rao appeared to be back-tracking when he said that it was only a day-long token strike.

K.K. Tiwari, leader of the Swabhimaan Sanghatna, said that it was pointless to go on a strike now that the fare had been hiked. “It is important to avoid a strike now as it will only end up hurting the drivers who lose their daily earnings,” he said.


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