[dropcap]M[/dropcap]AHARASHTRA farmers panel chief Kishore Tiwari warned on Wednesday that revised fines imposed under the new Motor Vehicles Act (MVA) could spur suicides across the country.
He termed the hefty penalties being charged on traffic rules violations as “a”
Chairman of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission (VNSSM), who enjoys a Cabinet minister rank, said: “The revised financial penalties have been opposed across the country. It is turning out to be an anti-people move.”
He appealed Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari to bring down the penalties to reasonable level. The revised fines have the potential to drive commoners especially those belonging to the middle class to suicide if it is thrust upon them, he cautioned.
Notably, Gujarat which is the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, has voluntarily reduced the fines on traffic violations up to 50 percent.
“It broadly implies that both the Prime Minister and Home Minister may be having second thoughts on the new penalties in view of the ugly public mood,” he was quoted as saying by IANS.
BJP’s Maharashtra ally Shiv Sena has already questioned the logic of imposing hefty fines on traffic rule violators, saying people cannot afford it.
“The new law is being opposed because of the ten times higher fines for traffic rule violations proposed under it… The law is welcome but will hefty fine be affordable to the poor people of the country?” a recent editorial in Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamna read, adding that the central Surface Road Transport Ministry will have to “rethink” the steep fines.
State’s Transport Minister Diwakar Raote is from Shiv Sena. Reluctant to antagonise the masses ahead of the upcoming Assembly elections in October, Raote has referred the matter for the opinion of the state Law Department, the agency has reported.
Maintaining that the revised fines would have wider economic implications with disastrous consequences, Tiwari urged minister Raote “not to succumb to any pressures” and reduce all the “loot in the name of MVA fines”.