After staging several violent demonstrations against the alleged injustice of neglecting locals in railway jobs, the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Wednesday launched a campaign to train youths appearing for the recruitment process scheduled this month.
The programme would include detailed information on filling of forms, various eligibility criteria to be fulfilled, and guidance by the railway staff as well as creating awareness of the recruitment process by way of hoardings across the state. The MNS has also published a detailed handbook on the process, which would be distributed through party offices and stalls outside the theatres, bus stands and railways stations.
Addressing a party programme at Prabhadevi, Thackeray appealed to Maharashtrians youths to apply for jobs in the railways. “You should apply in such large numbers that they should not dare to reject your applications,” he said.
Thackeray claimed that for years Maharashtrians have been “deliberately kept away” from railway jobs to facilitate jobs for youths from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
This recruitment is significant as for the first time candidates would be allowed to give the exams in their regional languages.
More than 10,000 jobs including those of porters, sweepers and trackmen have been opened up for recruitment. Political analysts called this campaign a step towards expanding the party’s political base.
“Raj wants to send a message to the Maharashtrians that he is their wellwisher and jobs are the best medium to convey it,” said Nilu Damle, a political commentator.
Damle said the Sthaniya Lokadhikar Samitee, an employment wing of the Shiv Sena, had recruited large number of Maharashtrians to hotels, airports and banks, a factor responsible for the growth of the party.