Santosh Gangwar’s employment remark draws Oppn flak, aide clarifies
Opposition leaders targeted Union labour minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar and accused him of insulting people of north India on Sunday, a day after his reported remarks that there was no dearth of employment opportunities in the country but recruiters visiting the region complain of lack of “quality people” to fill vacancies.
“Desh mein rozgaar ki kami nahi hai. Humare Uttar Bharat mein jo recruitment karne aate hain is baat ka sawaal karte hain ki jis padd ke liye hum rakh rahe hain uski quality ka vyakti humein kum milta hai (There is no dearth of employment opportunities in north India. People who come for recruitment in north India complain that they get only a few qualified people for the posts for which they are recruiting) ,” Gangwar told reporters on Saturday in Bareilly, his Lok Sabha constituency.
The comments came amid criticism of the government over India’s unemployment rate rising to a 45-year high of 6.1% in 2017-18, data of which was released in May.
“The issue of employment keep figuring in newspapers these days. I am handling the same ministry for labour and employment and examine the issue daily. I have understood the problem,” Gangwar told reporters.
On Sunday, an aide of Gangwar clarified that he only referred to what others tell him and this was not his opinion.
The person also pointed out that the minister never mentioned that people in north India doesn’t have the ability or qualification, and that he referred only to the issue of quality.
“We are doing a lot of work to improve skill training...The Career Service Portal has been designed to help all job seekers and currently there are 400,00 people enrolled in the portal,” he said.
But the minister’s comments drew sharp reactions from the Opposition, with Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra saying the government was trying to escape blame for the job losses due to economic slowdown by such “insulting” comments.
“Mr Minister, it has been more than five years for your government. There is no job creation. Whatever jobs were there, they have been snatched due to the economic slowdown brought by the government. You want to escape by insulting north Indians,” she said.
“Youths are looking towards the government hoping that it will do something good for them,” the Congress general secretary said.
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati said such comments are laughable.
“After the different laughable statements by different Union ministers on the serious issue of economic slowdown, instead of removing unemployment in the country now it is being said that there is no shortage of jobs, but of competence, especially amongst north Indians. This is extremely shameful and an apology should be tendered to the nation,” she tweeted.