Mumbai, Mar 21: The Shiv Sena has hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious 'Skill India' programme, a day after railway job aspirants' demonstration in Mumbai, and said his promise to create one crore jobs a year has failed to employ even 1000 people.
The government would not even have the figures of those imparted training under the 'Skill India' programme and those who later got the employment, the party claimed. Hundreds of railway apprentices and other students demanding jobs in the Railways held sit-in protests yesterday on the tracks between Matunga and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) stations, forcing cancellation of 68 trains and leaving thousands of commuters in lurch.
The agitators, mostly railway apprentices, were seeking permanent jobs in the railways and scrapping of the 20-per cent cap on hiring apprentices.
"On one hand, the prime minister talks about 'Skill India' and spends Rs 10 to 20 crore on advertisements for his 'Mann ki Baat' programme, on the other hand, those who have received skills are being turned away from jobs," the Sena alleged in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'.
"While the PM promised one crore jobs every year, not even 1,000 actually got employment and on the contrary, even those employed became jobless," it claimed.
The programmes such as 'Skill India' and 'Start Up India' are like vehicles without wheels, the Sena said. It sought to know what kind of 'Skill India' programme the government was promoting by making people slog in the name of apprenticeship and showing them the door, after giving them a mere certificate of completion of the course.
"The government must not even be having the figures of the number of people who were imparted skills and given jobs in the last four years," said the Sena, an ally of the NDA government at the Centre and the BJP-led government in Maharashtra.
"People like (diamond jewellers) Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi are fleeing the country after looting the nation and sons of the soil are struggling for jobs. This is like fleecing the country," it charged.
Students from Uttar Pradesh were also a part of yesterday's protest against the railways, even as UP CM Yogi Adityanath promised four lakh jobs after a miserable defeat in the recent bypolls, the Sena said. Taking a jibe at the Centre over its high-cost projects, the saffron ally said, "The bullet trains are for the rich. These protesting students are sons and daughters of the poor."
"Like the Army built the Elphinstone railway bridge, the Army will also solve the questions raised by students while the government will keep sitting and do nothing," the Sena lashed out.
Following the death of 23 people in a stampede at the suburban Elphinstone Road railway station, a new foot-over-bridge (FOB), constructed by the Army, was thrown open to the public in Mumbai last month.