GUWAHATI, Oct 16 - Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia today expressed concern over reports that about 899 candidates from outside Assam, primarily from states like Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Haryana, have been surreptitiously recruited for Grade-IV posts under the Lumding Railway Division at the cost of depriving eligible local unemployed youth.
Saikia has written a letter to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal in this regard and urged him “to take bold steps to have the partisan and irregular recruitment process scrapped”.
“This sort of anti-local policy on the part of Central government departments/undertakings has gained ground in the recent past. After the government headed by Sonowal assumed power in the State, in 2017 the ONGC’s Assam Asset violated policy enumerated in a government notification and deprived local candidates while filling up 22 vacant posts reserved for persons with disabilities,” Saikia said in a statement.
He added that the Employment Review Committee (ERC) of the Assam Legislative Assembly last year found upon enquiry that the ONGC’s Assam Asset had also violated provisions of Rule 4 of the Employment Exchange (Compulsory Notification of Vacancies) Act, 1959.
“The ERC recommended formulation of a State policy to ensure 80 per cent recruitment of local youth in all Grade-III and Grade-IV posts in all Central public sector undertakings. Subsequently, the State Cabinet adopted resolutions stipulating a minimum of 80 per cent recruitment of local residents of Assam in managerial and supervisory cadre and a minimum of 90 per cent recruitment in non-managerial cadre... in both Central and state sector PSUs.
“The Cabinet further resolved that all candidates applying for such posts should have valid employment exchange registration number of Assam,” Saikia said.
He said that it is unfortunate that the policy endorsed by the State Cabinet under the Chief Minister’s stewardship has been flouted by the Railways.
“Candidates from outside Assam are coolly securing jobs in government undertakings in Assam without the requisite registration in local employment exchanges, may be after having read ‘How to Learn Assamese’ or ‘Assamese in Easy Steps’ sort of primers...,” Saikia, who is also the Leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP), said.
He called upon the Chief Minister “to rise to the occasion and take all necessary steps to ensure that the unjust recruitment done by the Railways is scrapped forthwith.”
Saikia further urged student bodies and other non-political organisations of Assam to mount a strong protest “against the injustice perpetrated by the Railways” and, if required, advocated “launching of an agitation to secure justice.”
Meanwhile, on being contacted, NFR officials said that the recruitment was carried out in a totally transparent manner.