State Bank of India’s clerk recruitment entrance examinations were conducted smoothly across the 60 centres in the state on Sunday, despite Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s (MNS) threat to disrupt the examinations.
On Saturday, Raj Thackeray’s party wrote to the country’s largest public sector bank asking it to give preference to domicile candidates from Maharashtra.
The MNS had demanded that locals be selected for the 1,100 vacancies in the state quota and no applicants from outside the state can apply in this category.
Shriram Lele, general manager, SBI (Central Recruitment and Promotion Department), said: “There were no problems in any of the centres, the exams took place smoothly.”
There were no reports of disruption at the 60 centres in Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur and Aurangabad where about 75 per cent of the 46,000 applicants in the Maharashtra were writing the exams.
Sunday morning saw heavy police patrolling outside the exam centres to ensure that Raj’s men do not create any problems.
Even Shiv Sainiks instructed its cadre to stand guard outside the examination halls.
“We are here to stop the MNS from creating any trouble as postponement would only delay the exams and ruin the careers of our local candidates,” said Vaman Bhosle, secretary of the Sthaniya Lokadhikar Samitee, the recruitment wing of the Shiv Sena.
“As the exams are being held across the nation, other successful candidates will join duty while our children will have to wait for another six months for re-examinations,” Bhosle added.
He also accused the MNS of exploiting the Marathi manoos issue for political gain.
Defending its stand, the MNS maintained that it is fighting for the local youth.
MNS spokesperson Shirish Parkar said the threat had resulted in a large number of “outsiders” abstaining from appearing for the exams.
“We have been successful,” said Parkar, adding that the MNS will wait for the passing list to ensure that only Maharashtrians get through in the state quota.
Only Maharashtrians are locals: Sena
“Our definition of a Marathi manoos is not one who has lived in the state for 15 years and knows Marathi, like the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena claims, but who has been born to Maharashtrian parents.”
This is what Anil Desai, Shiv Sena leader and general secretary of Sthaniya Lokadhikar Samiti, the recruitment wing of the Sena said on Sunday.
Even a person like [Samajwadi Party MLA] Abu Asim Azmi can learn Marathi in 15 years. When we mean Marathi, it is about being a Maharashtrian,” Desai added.
“The Sena has been doing its job quietly without cameras.”
He claimed that the Sena holds training sessions to groom local candidates for central government recruitment exams.
“On the day of any central government exams, Sainiks help candidates to locate their seat numbers and exam centres. That’s why Sena activists were there at the SBI examination centres today,” he added.