Efforts on to involve people in temple politics: Sharad Pawar

Pawar blamed the economic policy of the current Union government for the plight of Marathi-speaking textile mill workers in Mumbai

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar (File photo)
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar (File photo)


Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday claimed attempts were being made to divide people based on caste and religion and rulers are not interested in resolving problems of people but are instead trying to divert their attention with "temple politics".

Addressing a function in north Maharashtra, Pawar blamed the economic policy of the current Union government for the plight of Marathi-speaking textile mill workers in Mumbai.

Pawar also accused the government of trying to weaken labour unions and make them dependent on it and appealed to workers in the country to unite to secure their future.

"At many places, government works are closing. There are attempts to divide people over caste and religion. There are many issues such as unemployment, price rise and there are expectations that power should be used to resolve these problems but rulers are not interested," he claimed.

In a veiled jibe at Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde who is on Ayodhya visit, Pawar said efforts are being made to involve people in issues like temple politics to divert their attention from real problems.

"These are difficult times. We will have to be alert. You work for the country and even for other nations. I do not doubt your future, it is bright but it depends on your unity," Pawar added.

He was speaking as the chief guest on the occasion of the platinum jubilee of Hind Mazdoor Sabha's foundation day.

"The scenario in the country is changing for workers. Once, there were several industries and many workers were working in the cities of Maharashtra. Around 25-30 years ago, Mumbai was considered the industrial capital of India but the situation is different now. No one considers it as the industrial capital anymore because workers are not there and the condition of workers there is worrisome," the former Union minister said.

He said as many as 110-115 textile mills used to operate in Girangaon in Mumbai and workers used to stay in chawls but the scenario has changed.

"Many 40-50-storey skyscrapers have come up and Marathi workers from Girangaon are not part of these highrise buildings. These workers have been devastated. This is the result of the present economic policy of the Union government," Pawar said.

Hindu Mazdoor Sabha general secretary Harbhajan Singh Siddhu claimed the situation in the country is very serious as there is an "undeclared emergency".

Former minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal spoke on how his name was dragged into the infamous Telgi stamp paper scam but the CBI chargesheet didn't name him.

Pawar visited India Security Press (ISP) and Currency Note Press (CNP) units.

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