Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday, 3 August, accused the ruling DMK of staying silent over the recruitment drive of NLC India Ltd (NLCIL), in which not even a single engineer from Tamil Nadu was chosen for the 299 posts up for grabs.
“The DMK assured to enact a law to provide 75 percent employment in Tamil Nadu’s industries, but did not raise a voice about the fact that not a single one of the 299 engineers selected in the NLC was from Tamil Nadu,” he said in a statement.
He added that Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand have already ordered private firms to recruit 75 percent of their employees from the local population, adding that people in Tamil Nadu were shocked to hear that the NLCIL, earlier called Neyveli Lignite Corporation, was planning to appoint 299 engineers from other states.
The NLCIL had promised jobs for people who donated their lands, but it has so far not been implemented by them, OPS said, accusing the DMK of remaining mute on the issue.
Most people who gave their lands to the NLCIL were appointed on a contract basis.
Panneerselvam also targeted the NLCIL, saying it was unfair for it to appoint engineers from other states when Tamil Nadu had qualified engineers.
தமிழகத்தின் தொழில் நிறுவனங்களில் 75% வேலைவாய்ப்புகளை தமிழர்களுக்கே வழங்க சட்டம் இயற்றப்படும் என வாக்குறுதி அளித்த திமுக, நெய்வேலி பழுப்பு நிலக்கரி நிறுவனத்தில் தேர்ந்தெடுக்கப்பட்ட 299 பொறியாளர்களில் ஒருவர் கூட தமிழகத்தைச் சேர்ந்தவர் இல்லாதது குறித்து ஏன் குரல் எழுப்பவில்லை? pic.twitter.com/P5OibNGt59
— O Panneerselvam (@OfficeOfOPS) August 3, 2022
‘Rights of Tamils snatched’
OPS is not the only leader to raise his voice for the rights of Tamils.
Pattali Makkal Katchi president Anbumani Ramadoss condemned the NLCIL in March for letting down the people of Tamil Nadu.
“The company may close its operations in the district and leave if it is not ready to recruit Tamils,” he said.
People displaced by the NLCIL were neither duly compensated nor their family members given jobs, claimed the PMK leader.
Although the NLCIL was generating a revenue of ₹11,500 crore a year, people in the surrounding villages who gave up their land were left high and dry, he added.
Kamal Haasan’s Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) also condemned the company.
MNM vice-president R Thangavelu said in a statement, “It is strongly condemned that the people of more than 30 surrounding villages have given their land to this company, and now 100 percent of employment is given only to north Indians.”
The party also asked, “Are any of the young people of Tamil Nadu not qualified to work in this company?”
There have been reports for a few years of Tamils being ignored like this, the statement further read. Therefore, after cancelling the certificate verification and physical fitness test, which is currently going on, a new notification should be issued to employ the youth of Tamil Nadu.
The party also called for the people behind the recruitment to be investigated, and appropriate action be taken against them.
Chief Minister MK Stalin also wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the NLCIL recruitment drive in March.
Stalin said the NLCIL’s move to recruit persons based on the marks of the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) would affect the local candidates who might have failed to take it.
The NLCIL proposed to recruit 300 Graduate Executive Trainees (GETs) based on their performance in GATE.
“I am informed that this is a deviation from the past practice, and earlier, priority was being accorded while recruiting for various positions, including GET, to the eligible candidates from among those families who provided lands for the mining and other needs of NLC,” Stalin said.
Pointing out that the NLCIL required land for mining operations, Stalin said the demand among the local people that job opportunities be provided to them was justifiable.
He said the locals, who gave their lands for the mining operations, should be given priority in the process of recruitment to various positions in the NLCIL.