Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which has often launched violent campaigns to ensure state jobs for ‘sons of the soil’, has jeopardised the employment prospects of 35 Maharashtrian youths.
The youths had been shortlisted from across the state by the Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) for 15 openings in the fire and safety departments.
On February 2, MNS activists disrupted the selection process, saying the MIAL should have published the recruitment advertisements in Marathi newspapers. They were also demanding preference for kin of firemen.
The MIAL then decided to start the selection process again, incorporating the MNS “suggestions”.
Ironically, of the 36 candidates shortlisted by then, 35 were Maharashtrians picked from fire safety training institutes in Aurangabad, Thane and Nagpur.
As per the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) norms, staff in fire and safety departments must be formally trained for the job as they have access to sensitive areas like the airfield. Which is why they must also have police verification that they have no criminal record.
The protestors demanded that a group of 30, selected by the MNS, be given preference. “We asked them to submit the CVs as they had not gone through the selection process, but the (protestors) wanted to wrap up selections the same day,” the MIAL spokesperson said.
Sandeep Dalvi, general secretary of the Havai Karamachari Sanghatna and Andheri office head of the MNS, justified the protests.
“They should give preference to firemen’s children. Also, how would people come to know about the jobs unless the advertisements were published in Marathi newspapers?,” Dalvi told the mediapersons.